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Are "Cancer Stories" a Literary Cliche?

  1. Ken S Harris profile image78
    Ken S Harrisposted 5 years ago

    In college, I submitted a story I had written to an advanced creative writing workshop. It was inspired by a friend of mine who found out she had cancer. So, I wrote about it. The workshop said, though my story could  be an exception because it didn't focus solely on cancer, "cancer stories" were a cliche in writing. I find this hard to justify, especially since cancer is a deadly disease that affects so many people. I would love to hear others' thoughts on this.  Thank you!

    1. K9keystrokes profile image91
      K9keystrokesposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I would never consider anything having to with cancer as cliche. If anything, it would be a subject that speaks to one of the largest followings found on earth.

  2. Cagsil profile image60
    Cagsilposted 5 years ago

    Cancer stories a cliche? No. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

  3. tussin profile image59
    tussinposted 5 years ago

    What your writing leader probably means is that sentimental stories about being diagnosed with a disease are overdone in commercial fiction.  The idea of cancer itself is not a cliche, but all too often writers will resort to cliches when writing a tear-jerker about someone getting sick.

    1. Denise Handlon profile image91
      Denise Handlonposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I love your response...it puts a different perspective on the statement presented and one that holds an element of truth and integrity...being able to look beyond the feeling of being slighted by the criticism of that particular instructor.  That is the only way we really learn to fine tune our craft and develop.

  4. Keith Ham profile image61
    Keith Hamposted 5 years ago

    They once were but not exactly anymore. Remember, though, even the most common type of story can be made to stand out on its own.

    I swear that sounded like a oxymoron was in there somewhere, oh well.