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Are you a walking cliche?

Everyone says, 'avoid cliche'. Nobody says 'guard against your own cliches'. Well, nobody except Alan Moore. In the afterwords of his tiny little chapbook Writing for Comics, Moore gives writers who are a decade into their profession some more meaty tips. Perhaps the most useful of those is: Stand guard against your own styleNotice the things that become devices in your own workRuthlessly destroy them. Moore does this by way of a discussion about style. His attitude is that if you are not capable of spotting the devices that you use, you are unable to destroy them. And if you don't destroy them, you become your own cliche. The term cliche is new to English. It was first attested in the late 1800s. Its origin? A stereotype block used in typesetting. Cliche is a jargon word that also leans on the term for 'click', which was originally supposed to define the sound of metal striking metal....

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The truth about content baby steps

The phrase "baby steps" is wildly misused. People use it to describe taking tiny steps. But baby steps are not small steps. They're halting, faltering, balance-challenged, blind, attention-heavy little things. If you've ever closely observed a baby learning to walk, you'll notice that "walking" is a process. First, there is standing up on two feet. This itself is a process involving hefting one's weight up onto two feet, finding a centre of gravity, and being confident enough to let go of whatever it is you're gripping onto for dear life. Then there is standing on one foot. This requires one to shift one's balance just enough to lift a foot, but not so much that one topple's over. Then there is the combination of moving a foot forwards while also being game enough to let go. Then there is staring at the feet in amazement, being absolutely gleeful about moving along on two little pegs. But then...

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