A cliché or cliche is an expression or idea that has been overused to the point where it lost its original meaning. Cliches detract from your stories and articles because of lack of originality. They are not meant to be confused with tropes, or patterns seen across all fiction.

However, just because a story has cliches does not mean it is poor quality. What counts the most is the fresh take on the idea.


These are tropes that have been nearly done to death. Should you choose to use any of these, be sure you have a fresh, original interpretation or it might come across as stale or derivative.

Mindless hordesEdit

Mindless hordes are a quick way to create a series of villains - powerful foes with no strategy other than to attack relentlessly. The problem with mindless hordes is that often times, writers do not offer more detail beyond "They invade because they are evil". With the lack of personality, a main character killing one member of the horde is seemingly meaningless towards their development. Why exactly do these hordes invade? Where do they come from? Maybe perhaps these hordes are acting as a collective mind to serve a master simply trying to sustain himself.

Chosen OnesEdit

Chosen Ones are characters either picked out by the gods themselves or are mentioned in prophecies. Many of these characters are comparable to religious or mythical characters from other texts. However, the biggest problem associated with Chosen Ones are that they are often handed gifts and special abilities on a silver platter. Readers tend to connect more with characters that face the same challenges as they do. That is, they generally prefer to see characters have to use their own mental and physical skill to overcome a challenge rather than having a mysterious force save them every single time (aka Deus ex Machina).

One way to think of the Chosen One is a real life celebrity. In a realistic scenario, even among the people the Chosen One is protecting, there will be those that will disagree with his or her actions.

Planet of HatsEdit

Planet of Hats is a society where everyone has the same personality and way of thinking. From a writing perspective, this is considered a lazy way to describe an entire species unless it is justified. For a society to function, multiple niches have to be covered. There are creative ways to deal with this though such as deconstructing the idea of it. Why does everyone act the same? Are they under a curse or some sort of mind control?

Pure good versus pure evilEdit

Pure good versus pure evil is often an outlet for getting a not-so-subtle message across. It is best to explore the motivations of both sides before completely demonizing one side while glorifying the other. Also, remember that different cultures have different definitions for good and evil.

Not allowedEdit

We do not allow any sort of these creations on this wiki.


An expy is a character that can be described as directly lifted from another work and transported to your own. This is different from inspiration in that there is absolutely no creativity involved - the original is copied directly. To maintain the standards of quality, we do not allow this.

Truly perfect societiesEdit

While it is alright to create dystopias or pacifist civilizations, by no means should you make them perfect, idealistic societies. The main reason they are on the do-not-allow list is because very frequently, such societies reflect the author's political beliefs. As Erudite Tales is a shared universe created by numerous authors, there is a high probability that someone else on this wiki will disagree with you. It is best to avoid truly perfect societies altogether and instead write about how a civilization might really develop.

Mary SuesEdit

Like truly perfect societies, Mary Sues are a reflection of what the author's ideal vision of him or herself is. Considered the scourge of writers, these characters are uninteresting and they hog the spotlight from other characters.

Deus ex MachinaEdit

Quite simply put, the author writes in a last minute explanation to save a character from danger, very frequently violating the rules of consistency. This is considered bad writing, though it can more easily be remedied with Chekhov's Guns or adequate explanations.