Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I shrugged to myself.
I nodded and said...
I winced.
I shivered at the thought.
I shook my head and said / I shook my head to myself.
I shuddered.
I raised my eyebrows.
I rolled my eyes.

I can't speak to books for adults--my non-required reading has recently been confined to re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the countless time, a book which commits none of these crimes (nor, let's face it, any other)--but when I find these phrases in a manuscript, my red pencil leaves bloody slashes across the page.

You could argue that once in a while these sayings are necessary, and I can see that it could be true. "Once in a while" being the operative phrase. But even then I'm still going to try to persuade you to get rid of it. (It's not just the first person use of these cliches that I object to; one could argue that "She shrugged to herself" is even more obnoxious. Have YOU ever shrugged to yourself? I didn't think so.)

The manuscript I'm reading now, while otherwise promising, used all of these and more within the span of ONE CHAPTER.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

that is a lot of "i" action going on there.