Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Nugget: Looky, Looky

I think I shared this golden writing-tip nugget already.

But I can't find it in my archives, so maybe I didn't. Maybe I'm just going crazy, which is entirely possible.

Or maybe I already shared that I had this problem, but I never shared the SOLUTION I discovered at the SCBWI conference.

Do your characters LOOK too much?

Do they glance?

Do their gazes dart up from whatever they're doing?

Do you have a fixation with your characters' eyeballs?

One solution is to use the Find/Replace tool in word to catch all those looks, glances and eyes. Then you tweek the words or change the tag all together.

But if you're using these words (and I'm the #1 culprit here) it might show an even deeper problem.

Your scenes (and my scenes) may not be active enough. It shows your (and my) characters may just be standing around chatting most of the time. Get them out there, get them doing something together, and then you'll have a ton more options for interesting tags.

Now, tell me, did I share this before? I'll feel like an idiot if I did. But I guess I'll just blame the pregnancy brain. And is it helpful? I know this is a problem that I've read about on other writers' blogs. If you already were familiar with this tip, did making your scenes more active work for you? I know in my recent rewrite, keeping this in mind really helped me (I think).


  1. That is a great tip. I'm tweeting it.


  2. You've mentioned that this is one of your writing crutches, Amy, but I don't think it was in the context of the conference.

    Either way, it's a great point.

  3. Definitely a good tip! I do this a lot in my dialogue. I always keep an eye out (ha!) for it, and usually replace it with some other kind of action.

  4. :) I don't remember the tip, but I do remember the gold nugget...I think it was one of the first posts I read on your blog. I've always been attracted to shiny things. (wink) Great tip!

  5. I have the "look" problem too =( It's a hard habit to change.

  6. Good one Amy! I don't remember you giving this tip before...but so need to be reminded of it! Thanks!