43

I believe it's better to steam through and finish your first draft without constant editing and second guessing everything you've written. This is because you will learn so much about your novel during that process, and will settle into a style and rhythm. If you reread everything immediately then you are at risk of what you've described - not seeing it ...


30

“His eyes flashed with anger for a moment” simply means the character looked angry for a second. Perhaps he immediately realized an interruption was important or he regained his composure in a tense situation. It is NOT bad writing and is certainly not telling rather than showing. “Show, don’t tell” is a reminder to avoid simply saying something exciting or ...


16

Writer At Work With the phrase... "...his eyes flashed anger for a moment” ...you've stumbled upon "The Writer at Work". Which means that the writer has interrupted your reader's reverie by choosing a phrase that cannot be "seen". It jars you from the story itself and is intrusive. This is why writers often repeat the old adage, "Show don't tell." ...


13

Taking this phrase at face value, I'd assume that the area surrounding the character's eyes (and not just the eyes themselves) show a very brief sign of anger that the character then manages to get back under control. This is called a micro expression and lasts about 1/5th of a second: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microexpression In the case of anger, for ...


8

Well, first of all, Picasso never said it. Please see, for example, this investigation which could find no evidence to suggest Picasso ever said this. In fact, the earliest quote that could be found to resemble the non-Picasso quote was by W. H. Davenport Adams, who wrote "That great poets imitate and improve, whereas small ones steal and spoil." T. S. ...


8

+1 Mark, delete it. Make sure you have a backup of your manuscript for the day, you won't lose it. Then delete it and try something else. Psychologically speaking, a major problem for writers is our own short-term memories and a heavily biased "moment" of how we perceive the real world and the world and characters we are writing. So when a phrase seems ...


7

"Circensian" is a word, which means "of or relating to the Circus in ancient Rome", so you could potentially consider using that, but it likely doesn't really fit. Since this is Writers.SE, however, I would fall back to Stephen King's comment that “The road to hell is paved with adjectives.” Why not simply describe the activities that are occuring around ...


7

There are actually quite a few options, many of which come naturally when you're not forced to consciously write formally. You can change the verb into an –ing: "Having done freelance for 8 years, I..." "Choosing to work from home has..." or in some cases turn the verb into the subject or your sentence. "Experience with Java has ...


6

I narrowed my eyes at someone once, and only once. It was an unconscious reaction, but I was fully aware of doing it. It was quite a strange experience and I left feeling embarrassed knowing that I am instinctively subject to the human condition. The phrase alone means nothing. I need to know what happened after. Did their 'expression soften' (they repent) ...


6

"It is commonly believed, that ____. However, ____" "It is a common misconception, that ____. In reality ____." "Many believe it to be true, that ____, when in fact ____." "You'd be forgiven for believing that ____ was what happened, as that was what we were told. The truth is that ____."


5

There are as many ways to say "here is an idea" as there are words. The second part doesn't matter for now; it will naturally follow the first. You are going to make a contrast, but first you are going to introduce an idea. "People often say" is one brief way to introduce an idea that you are identifying as a common concept or belief. But so is: "Among ...


4

I do not, to my knowledge ever. I am not a lawyer but I believe copyright applies: If the sentence or fragment you want to use is original (meaning it cannot be found in multiple sources or from a time prior to its publication) then that author holds the "copyright", and you are violating it. This has been held up in court for even three notes of a song ("My ...


4

Stealing is bad. Quite aside from it being illegal, what satisfaction would you draw from presenting someone else's work? It's not yours, the praise it gets is not to you. Being inspired by another author, on the other hand, is good. A work of art should inspire. And there's nothing wrong with deliberately going and seeking out the particular inspiration ...


3

Typically you don't include any first person pronouns (such as "my") in formal essays. So instead of saying x is true by my understanding. you would say something like, It appears x is true. Or instead of appears, there are the words: surmise, deduce, conclude, etc. You would use these in the passive form, however, to eliminate the need for a first ...


3

I keep a notebook of all the most beautiful metaphors I read. Once in a blue moon, I'll pull it out and look through the pages, but never while I'm writing. I want to be inspired by their words, not copy them, because you can't just pluck what you like and make it fit into your work. Doing so will make your writing feel like patchwork as there is overall ...


3

Structure, high level plot "mile markers," or archetypal elements are all fair game. I put this in the same space as "casting" your novel by picking people/actors to play roles in your works. At the end of the day, the low level implementation has to be different and the work itself must be transformative if it is to use existing elements. So, yes, there ...


3

It depends on the more subtle meaning you wish to convey. The obvious solution would be to combine it into one sentence: Rebecca lived in the same building as my wife and I, and was one our closest friends. However, this makes Rebecca a "joint" friend of you and your wife together, not necessarily a friend of each of you, that each of you might engage ...


3

I'm a writer who will probably self-publish. I'm not a fiction author yet. I do not steal phrases from favorite authors, but I do steal phrases from all over, if they are generic but powerful. For example: the phrase "I just wanted my men safe," was in a war movie that I saw recently, and was powerful in that scene - it fits in a section of my non-war story ...


3

You're overthinking it Adverbs are, on the surface, not bad. Without them, certain sentences and phrases wouldn't sound right, and we couldn't convey what we wanted to. You're finding this out with that 30%. However, there is a tendency to overuse adverbs. Adverbs can be an easy way out of description. When this description would be better, the adverb ...


3

Regarding intentionally trying to make your eyes "flash" an emotion, that's actually very challenging, as emotional indicators on our faces can be quite subtle and difficult to fake. When we notice really subtle cues like this, it often is very quick and subconscious. This is one of the cases where speaking more directly to emotional context rather than ...


3

What you write depends on what you want to say, and who is saying it. If your emphasis is on the second part, you don't need to explain the first part. You can use something like: "Really? Today the roses are blue." "Who knew that Valentine roses would be blue this year." "ugg. Another week of wearing a mask." If you want to emphasize that there is a ...


2

In business communication, as in most other communication, you want to be as concise as possible while still being effective. Your sentence "The reason for which I am writing..." with or without the "to you" is unnecessarily convoluted. Try "I am writing to express my interest..." or even "I am interested in..." Get to the point. I read a lot of cover ...


2

Instead of saying, "I have experience with X," consider describing what you did with X. "I created a global meteor defense system using Java and Arduino."


2

I seems to me that it is your state of mind which changed, and not the written phrase itself. There are two possible causes for this. Many writers use certain tricks to establish a useful state of mind for developing ideas; often, those states of mind are too right–brain to write very well, however — music, brainstorming, e.g. Then, they need to review, ...


2

Poetic metre, clarity and brevity are the three corners of a triangle and everything which we write falls somewhere within its domain. Through careful word choice, we can minimize the distance between these three corners, but we can rarely achieve high marks in all three at once. This is why poetry often needs to be studied and interpreted. It often ...


2

With "I supposed", I'm trying to convey that if you had asked the narrator, at the time the story takes place, whether Rebecca was one of his closest friends, he would have said, "I suppose." But the way I've written it makes it sound as though this was something he was actively thinking about at the time the narration takes place. I'm not sure I ...


2

I'm getting the impression that if you were to ask the narrator now, they would say that Rebecca was not, and had never been, much of a friend. If that's correct, you could try something like : "... and at the time I believed she was one of mine." though "supposed" is more subtle - my suggestion is a more obvious flag to something you might have wanted ...


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