Friday, May 10, 2013

The Blog Chain – Too Many Smiles

The Blog Chain Topic this week is:

What are your "go-to" scenes or phrases? You know, the ones you have to remind yourself NOT to use too frequently? What do you do to keep yourself from being overly reliant on them?                                          

While I don’t have any “go-to” scenes, I definitely have go-to facial expressions…as in smiling. When I’m in the early rough draft stages of my writing, I always use smiling as a filler reaction/action/expression.

For example:

She looked at him with a sad, tight smile.

“It’s not what you think,” he said with a friendly smile.

She smiled bravely. “I know…it’s just…”

He took her hand and offered her a smile. “I had to do it.”

Okay, so that’s an over-the-top example (from a soap opera perhaps?) but you get the idea. I always have to back in and make sure people aren’t smiling so damned much, cause really, if you think about it, it’s kind of creepy.

I think it’s easier to edit out your “go-to” words and phrases then to try and banish them altogether. In edits you can more clearly see a scene and work in what people would actually do in a situation.

That’s all for now, (she said with a smile.) J What are your go-to scenes or phrases?
Keep following this topic on the chain and check out Michelle’s blog on Monday, or look back at Katrina's post from yesterday.



  1. "Smile" was one of the words I'd abuse all the time, too, back when I used to write novels. Glad to see I wasn't the only one! I'd also abuse words like "slightly," "futile," "sigh," etc. Oops. XD

  2. I found when I was writing my first draft, I'd use variations on the word rueful. When I went back and looked at it, I realized just how jarring that word is.