The other day I was trying to find a way to describe someone's eye color and was struggling to come up with a description I hadn't used before. I did a google search and found an article on a blog called, Obsidian Bookshelf. The creator lists a variety of articles on writing body movement, describing hair, etc.
As I was clicking through the index, I came across an interesting post. The creator asked his blog readers to list the clichés they hate seeing most in stories. As I read through it, I felt myself shifting uncomfortably more than once. I realized that half my original story was one big cliché, which means it's already been done too many times.
After giving it some thought, I went back and reworked my outline and managed to come up with something better than what I first planned. It's really helped me come up with a whole new spin on my story, and I'm even more excited about it than I was before. If you want to check out the article, here it is:
Everyone's Most Hated Fantasy Fiction Clichés