Monday, March 26, 2012

Stop Smirking at Me! And Enough With the Fists!

We all have go-to words when we write, and even more so when we speak.  One of my favorites is "anyway".  I use it instead of transitional sentences between paragraphs. Mostly because I have (undiagnosed) ADD, and



I just finished reading something in which the hero and heroine spent a LOT of time smirking at each other.  He smirked, she smirked, he smirked again. And now I really, really dislike smirking.  The occasional smirk to show disdain or irony is fine. I love irony, and quirking one side of my mouth to acknowledge that I "get" the irony happens quite frequently.  But really, people.  Enough already (and Linda Grimes, if you can ignore smirking, you can read Fifty Shades.  My jury is still out on the "quality" of the book, but I'll probably read the next one, just to find out who gave Christian all those scars).

After trying, and failing, to ignore the smirking in every other paragraph in that book, I am now overly sensitized, and can't help but notice how much smirking is going on in the book I'm reading now, which only had one smirk...but it was a big one.  ACK! 

I realize that there are only so many ways to describe an action.  Like "fisting". The first time I noticed this was during my Nora Roberts phase, about fifteen years ago.  I was on vacation...Destin, FL, as a matter of fact.  I had a big stack of NR romances to keep me company.  In  each book, during the first or second big love scene between the H/H, someone was always fisting their hands in someone's hair or shirt (Ha!  Did you think I meant "fisting" in some other context?  Really,'s Nora Roberts.  Get your minds out of the gutter). 

My point is, that when I write, I TRY to watch for those words that I overuse.  There is a website somewhere that does this cool thing that shows you which words you use the paste in your text and it makes the words you use most bigger than the other words.

What words bug you? 


  1. I can't read fisting without it meaning the gutter version. :)

  2. I always hated the Nora Roberts "fisting of the hair". What exactly is that supposed to mean? It sounds painful and unpleasant. Like what my daughters used to do when they were infants and learned to grasp my long hair.
    Not sexy.

  3. Oh, boy, I am editing the book I subbed all over the place to bits. (it's SO not gonna win/get requested for fulls!) and that's okay. I was a little late learning something, but now I know it...YEESH! The problems pop up everywhere. THAT. I use that all the time. Btw, 98% of sentences will survive without "that.". The good news is, I've finally found an effective editing style. Yes, it's giving me forehead wrinkles and filling the swear jar, but it works. Dammit.

  4. LOL! I was racking my brain, trying to remember a fisting scene in any of La Nora's books. Granted, I haven't read them ALL, but I was pretty sure that was out of her usual realm... ;)

    Sadly, overuse of smirking is one of my pet peeves. Once, maybe twice tops, per book is okay. After that I want to wipe that smirk off a character's face.

  5. Oh, THAT kind of fisting.

    Damn. You've disappointed me. ;)