Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Woe is Me...and Flying Body Parts

What a horrible game. We Buckeyes got our royal **butts** kicked...and good. Actually, I turned the game off in the fourth quarter and went to bed. **sigh**

Since nobody responded to the Tuesday Challenge last week and I've really only had a couple of people who seem interested, I'm doing away with it altogether. Tuesdays will be a day to post a tidbit about writing...something that I've learned along this journey to publishing.

One fun thing I learned: Flying Body Parts

What are flying body parts? Let me give you a few examples.

Susie dropped her eyes to the floor.
Dustin's feet tap danced across the stage.
Susie's fingers ran up Dustin's leg.

Let's look at these "literally". First, can Susie really take her eyes out of her head? How else could they drop to the floor? Dustin's feet aren't attached to his body? How can his feet take off on their own? The same with Susie's fingers! Can you picture these? Eyeballs falling onto a floor? Eeeuw!!! Feet detaching and dancing away? Maybe in a cartoon! Same with Susie's fingers. Well, unless this is a weird horror book.

This was the hardest lesson for me to learn, I think. My coach kept sending back my papers with red marks on all these "flying body parts". Once I started looking at these literally, I found myself laughing aloud at other author's books. Especially romances, where the hero would caress the heroine with his eyes. It seemed so natural for me to write this way, too.

How should the above be written?

Susie glanced at the floor.
Dustin tap danced across the stage.
Susie ran her fingers up Dustin's leg.

Make sense? I'd love to see some examples you run across in your reading adventures. Feel free to share them for a good laugh!

1 comment:

Marty said...

Oy. What a terrible game, lol! Wow. My favorite is the popular, "Her eyes darted across the room."