While I was a graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh I taught one year of composition, one semester of creative non-fiction writing and one semester of fiction writing. It was while teaching fiction writing that I really hit my stride. See, I had never in my wildest dreams ever thought I’d be teaching college undergraduates. And one of my pet peeves was cliches (I know the word is spelled with an accent mark over the “e” but for the life of me I can’t figure out how to get the computer to put it there). The dictionary defines a cliche as a: hackneyed phrase or opinion. My fiction writing students knew from the get go that if one of them turned in a paper with cliches in it I’d return that paper so fast that the student’s head would spin.
So, before you send a story to an editor make sure you eliminate all the cliches in it. If you don’t it’ll be a cold day in hell before you get published.