Monday, September 14, 2009

The eyes have it...

Boy, do they ever!

Friday night, our local (well, not so local for me) writing group met. We had a nice meeting and then several people wanted to read things for critique.

Now, I'll admit, this is one of the things that may not bother others, but it drives me nuts.

Check these sentences out.

She rolled her eyes at him.

She caught his eye.

Here's what I think when I see these sentences.

She rolled her eyes. Across the floor, like dice? Hope no one steps on them.

She caught his eye. Good thing she caught it...I'd hate for her to miss and it get lost in the grass.

Yeah, I know, these are common in our writing but really, can't we say it better somehow?

One of the readers read "The lake stood..." Really? It stood? How'd it do that?

A friend told me she once wrote, "She pulled the throw up over her shoulder." Ewwwww!!!

All this ranting to say, be careful what you write. Think about what you mean to say and then say it.

Now, go write something!!!

Oh...Monday I managed almost 1,200 words. I'm officially over halfway at a little over 42k.


  1. Great to read your progress. I have to admit to being guilty of the rolling her eyes comment. It's something I do a lot, so it appears in my stories. As for the second, I'm not catching anyone's eyeball.

    Probably no writing today, but I'm editing someone's manuscript. Does that count? :)


  2. I roll my eyes. It's amazing I still have them! Lol. Good point, though. Reading aloud sometimes helps with the awkward phrases.

    Doing fairly well on the word goal. Most days I manage to meet it. On the day that I don't, I still have written a good chunk, so I don't stress too much.

  3. I love the examples, and am guilty of many of them. I know that phrases like, "her eyes dropped," are ambiguous and such, but I also wonder just how literal we have to be. Do we risk sterility if we take away all metaphor?
    As a reader, I've never once read, she rolled her eyes, and been confused about the physics involved. ;-) I get feedback from authors about the phrase all the time, though.
    Granted, it's cliche, but in some cases, can we give the reader credit for being intelligent enough to get the meaning, or is it always better to be completely literal?