I’ve heard it said that it’s better not to use cliches in one’s writing and it’s better to say it a more imaginative, colorful way. Eschewing that rule, I used two cliches in a 200-word article I wrote some years ago and I didn’t mind. I didn’t consider them cliches, but still quite inventive and keeping their flavor. But I did reverse their wording, so that “to be or not to be” was “to go or not to go” and “mountains into molehills” became “molehills into mountains”. A twist I quite enjoyed and I’m sure my readers did. Or moaned.
I may have grown out of writing articles for one reason or another, but I hope my published articles inspired, encouraged or made someone think, in terms of what the article was saying to a specific reader, who might have been seeking an answer, or food for thought, on the topic I raised. Some people need answers to a topic – such as how does one go about complaining about a film? And why would one go deeper into analyzing a film? And so on. It just depends on who’s reading the article and if the article is a right fit for a specific person on the day, among the readers the writer is reaching, no matter the “page views”.
The headline, the opening paragraph, and the photos, all come together to set the tone for the article. The editors did this extremely well, although I wasn’t expecting it, nor did I intend it. But it did serve the readership and I am pleased how the article turned out. The whole article reflected one basic idea that was introduced in the headline, the photos, and the opening paragraph which would make the reader identify with one main idea. What a writer thinks should be emphasized isn’t always going to be fitting or appropriate for the readership so the editors can construct a frame for the article which fits. I am quite happy with this, although I intended another emphasis, but can still along with how it was done.
Do small touches make the difference to an article? Like a slight tweak, a slight delete, a shortening, a change of word? Emphatically, yes! But it depends. Sometimes, it wouldn’t matter, but other times, it may sort out the clutter and expression, say, into something more readable, exciting, or colorful.
There was a period where I again read, but critiqued, my own work, because I thought it wasn’t as readable as it should have been. But in a clearer frame of mind, I looked back at those articles, and saw the “big picture”, which changed my view of my older work. It was readable and sounded good when I saw the whole. This was encouraging as my previous view was negative, now turned positive. Seeing the context or big picture change my view of a work or piece.