Crutches. Be they words, phrases or descriptions, we all have them even if we don't want to admit it. We lean on them when we need "something" to complete an idea, a story, or even a simple sentence.
I recently had a critiquer shred one of my chapters. Every other line it seemed he had a comment to say about my story. I'll admit it was painful to read. I wanted to break down in tears at some points, but because I knew it was in the spirit of making my work better, I read on.
Every other comment it seemed was about my eyes. Yep eyes. It seems, and I was completely unaware of this, that I am obsessed with eyes.
Just a few snippets...
Fallon fixed me with a narrow gaze.
She locked her eyes on me.
Her narrow gaze was on me like a predator ready for the kill
I rolled my eyes
I saw the proverbial light bulb go off in Fallon’s eyes
Her eyes grew wide, pupils dilating, her breath quickening
Fallon sat quietly, eyes wide with fear
Fallon breathed a sigh of relief but something in her eyes told me she was not going to let me go.
His eyes narrowed and he fixed me with a deadly stare.
I turned my head quickly, refusing to look into his eyes.
This is not all of them, there are many more uses of eyes in this chapter, all in the span of 4k words. Clearly I have a problem. Eyes are my crutch, my go-to item of description.
Clearly I need help. Thankfully, now I am aware of the problem. Like the old G.I. Joe saying, " Knowing is half the battle." At least now I can be prepared with edits. I can be on the lookout for those excessive eye's and learn to explore more body language and facial description.
So, question for you. What is your Crutch?