Ted Tally (of Silence of the Lambs) has some interesting things to say during the 7/21/12 episode of KLRU’s On Story. He concludes that today’s audiences are very savvy and sophisticated when it comes to storytelling, and that it is difficult but necessary to stay a little ahead of them. This is especially true, I think, when it comes to comedy. The very essence of comedy revolves around the element of surprise. For my current comedy feature, I have been mindfully trying to avoid cliches, or at the very least re-working the clichés or putting a surprising twist on them. I enjoy reading the tvtropes.org website to see whether my ideas are fresh or should be changed up. There’s a treasure trove of information there for writers of all types of fiction.