9. Pull From Modern Culture.
One way to have fresh cliches is to use elements from modern culture. He's a 10th graded stopping before class to talk to her; their conversations have been painfully awkward.
Finally, after a few more seconds of nothing to say, which feels like the conversational equivalent to waterboarding, he says, "Well, I better get to my seat." He looks at the clock, signaling me that he needs to get to his seat. "Yeah," I say, showing that I understand he has to go to his seat. "Yeah," he says, extending that topic far past its expiration date.
The summer holidays had only begun that week, and already they promised to be the most boring since records began. (Three Little Lies, Marshall, page 11)
Playing off suicide watch:
"I have you on eating disorder watch, just so you know," she informs me...
"I have you on pregnancy watch," I tell her.
(Goldfish, Luurtsema, page 171)
Now we said polite hellos, awkward as two Craigslist strangers. (Here We Lie, DeBoard, page 432 paperback)
Each word has a "metaphorical meaning", which is the meaning it would tend to have when used as a metaphor. So when you see a new word (or phrase), you can think about how it could be used metaphorically. And words do not have to be horribly new for them to seem fresh as metaphoricals.
NEXT – A Trick for Cliches