The Big List of K/S Cliches

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Title: The Big List of K/S Cliches
Creator: Jungle Kitty
Date(s): last updated December 23, 2004
Medium: online
Fandom: Star Trek: TOS
Topic: common K/S story elements
External Links: here at Invisible Planets (offline); Wayback link
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The Big List of K/S Cliches is by Jungle Kitty.


If you've ever read anything about how to write well, you've probably run across this advice.

Hunt down every cliche in your writing and strip it out.

Well, forget that!

Fanfic couldn't exist without cliches. Since K/S is the oldest pairing, it's got the most cliches and the longest history of using them. Some of these things are so cliche that they weren't even original the first time they were used. I believe I'm safe in stating that there isn't a K/S story that doesn't use at least a few of them. You can find them in my K/S stories, you can find them in my favorite authors' K/S stories, you can find them in your K/S stories. There's nothing wrong with cliches, not in fanfic. It's part of our tradition!

But they can be overused. As you may have noticed.

So this checklist is provided as a public service.

Notice that although you get one point for each "yes" answer (unless otherwise noted), there's no scoring. I'm not going to tell you how much is too much. If you use every cliche on this list once [shudder], you'd rack up in excess of 400 points. If you're comfortable with that, OK. And please send me this high-scoring story, that is, if you're also comfortable knowing I'll probably hurt myself laughing at it.

So find your comfort level. Pick a K/S story you like and score it. Set that number as your maximum when you write K/S. Or pick a K/S story you hate and score it. Set that number as your minimum when you parody K/S.

Or maybe you'd just like to read through this list, knowing that by doing so, you will have experienced the essence of the fanfic tradition known as K/S.