Clichéd Writing Topics

Please be aware that these topics are a short reach, and might push you into writing a clichéd piece


  • For now, I’ll make this list simple. Don’t turn in your college essay. It’s self-plagiarism, and it will count as a zero. Anything else is fine.


  • The Car Crash.
  • The last time I saw him/her.
  • That time I got totally messed up (Seriously? Why does this come up so often?).
  • “In over my head” story (e.g. normal kid swept up in some mafia intrigue).
  • The big game / dramatic sports moment.
  • The Mournful CEO – the businessman who learns too late how poor his priorities are.
  • The start of the affair.
  • The Worst. Day. Ever.
  • The Alarm Clock intro – any story that starts with an alarm clock going off.

I’ll concede that these stories come from a good place – the desire to create a moment worth reading about. But I myself have never been swept up into the Mafia, been in a fatal car crash or been in a sports game where I was the deciding player at the end of the game. So how come these scenarios are so common for our fictional characters?


  • Love is a drug. Roxy Music took this one off the board in 1975.
  • Chess board metaphors about life.
  • “Gotcha” poems – ones that seem to be about lust, or death, or some other equally massive topic, but the final line reveals it’s been about a potato or something.
  • Center-justified poems. Let’s just not.

I’ll admit, you may be a better source here than I. I don’t follow people’s Instagrams or Tumblrs (?)… I don’t see a lot of online student poetry. I’ll be glad to add any other threadbare concepts here if you can think of any for me.