Top Five: Carly Berg

Carly Berg (2)

Five Common Eye Problems in Writing 

  1. Too much telling us people are looking at eachother or other things. It is usually assumed anyway.

  2. This also includes see, gaze, watch, glance, stare, watch, peer, and peek.

  3. A specific occurence of this is when it’s the point of view character. From that character’s perspective, he only notes whatever it is he sees, not the fact that he is seeing it. (this filtering no-no applies to hearing, feeling, thinking, knowing, etc. as well).

  4. Describing eyes as a way to describe a character. Along with descriptions of hair, it is overdone and not usually very interesting. Most of us have two eyes and they are a color. Tell us something that gives more insight into the person instead. Does he stutter? Does she wear a necklace made of beans? *note- extra points off for strange eye colors or eyes that change color when the character becomes angry.

  5. Having eyes do strange things. Roaming around the room, being glued to someone’s cleavage, smoldering. If you must tell us that people are looking at things, please use “gaze” at least.

See? Now your writing will look much better. (eye roll)

 — Carly Berg