Thursday, July 27, 2017

Your Turn: Overused Actions (Laurie)

Being a writer has definitely given me a new perspective when I'm reading. I never edit as I read on purpose (unless I'm supposed to!), but I still end up picking up on things I probably wouldn't have before. Things like repeated words, or unnecessary dialogue tags.

But today, I wanted to get your thoughts on overused actions in literature. In one book I read lately, I noticed the characters often placed a finger or two under each others' chins to raise that person's head. It got me wondering, has anyone ever done that to me, in my entire life? Not that I can think of.

Another one that came to mind is someone dragging a hand down their face. I never do that. I know, because it would leave me with badly smeared makeup or off-kilter glasses :)

But all authors are guilty of it, and I'm no exception! For example, my characters chew on their lips / cheeks all the time - another action I basically never do. Oops!

So now it's your turn! Can you think of any actions you notice showing up frequently in books that you rarely see in real life? Does that kind of disconnect bother you, or is it easy to overlook? If you're a writer, are there any actions you're guilty of overusing?

See you next time!


  1. One of the annoying things about being a writing is noticing and being annoyed by things I never noticed as a reader--like overused gestures. My characters like to arch eyebrows.

    1. I know what you mean! I wish I could just turn my writer brain off when reading so I could enjoy it more. Ha, arched eyebrows happen a lot in my stories, too! But at least that's an action I think I do quite a bit as well :)

  2. My characters are always "looking down" or "looking to the side" while they're talking. I suppose they, like me, struggle to maintain eye contact. XD


    1. That's a good one, Brenna! My characters are always looking all over the place, too :) But you're right, maintaining eye contact is just as hard in real life! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Nodding and shaking their head -- you'd think they were bobbleheads. I always end up going back and removing half of those specific actions. 😊


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