A Sight for Sore Eyes.

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Here are the 22 “notices” from chapters 12-22 of Irish Firebrands. Even lacking context, do you think there were better ways to say these things? Would any have been improved by being written as a form of “to see?”

  1. Lana noticed his eyes darting about.
  2. She and Dillon must have crossed that road today, but distracted by his talk of England, she hadn’t noticed….
  3. She also noticed that it was getting harder to see.
  4. Then, amongst the weeds she noticed a brown sign bearing white squiggles and a leaping fish, and the words, An Bhóinn, R. Boyne.
  5. As she reached for the casement handle, she glanced downwards and noticed something on the front stoop – something colourful….
  6. That caught her off guard – she’d never thought he’d even noticed that she whistled. (NB: This one is an auditory “notice,” but at other times he probably would have seen her pucker up to do it!)
  7. Then he glanced at her – and in one of those spellbound moments that seem to last forever, she noticed how his bashful smile lighted his face … dimpled his cheeks … curved his firm lips into shadows at their corners – shadows that coaxed her to find out how it would feel to–
  8. But if someone should notice the activity here and tell the media – well, we’ve no control over that.
  9. She laid the drawer upon the desktop and noticed that the blotter that lined the drawer had also become dislodged.
  10. When her eyes met his again, he asked, “Notice anything odd about that?”
  11. He turned and dashed towards the staircase, intending to ascend, but as he reached for the newel post, his gaze strayed back into the kitchen – and now he noticed something different in there–
  12. Lana saw the doctor’s jaw tighten. Dillon apparently noticed it, too.
  13. Then he noticed that the vent in the crust was heart-shaped–
  14. As Dillon watched her lock the door, he noticed that she’d changed her blouse and jeans for that fetching poet’s shirt that both concealed and revealed her bosom, and those seductive leggings that showed off her curvy bum.
  15. Then she noticed a slip of paper lying beside the pie.
  16. The late afternoon sun had lost its warmth, and he noticed when a blast of wind made her shiver.
  17. Staring across the room, he noticed Lana’s paper bag standing where he’d left it on the kitchen worktop last night.
  18. He noticed a mark in one corner of the paper, and he looked closer … it was an abbreviation of some kind: ‘SS 2:3’ … then he realised that it was a scripture reference – Lana had deciphered his note and replied in kind!
  19. Now Lana noticed that when he left the stage, the camera had briefly followed him down the aisle, where he was met by a woman who rose from her seat at the end of the row of chairs.
  20. He drove faster than she did, and driving might keep him busy enough not to notice her deteriorating mental state.
  21. As on their last outing, her apprehensions strained her ability to make small talk, but although he greeted her eagerly, he didn’t seem to notice.
  22. Lana felt a bit bleary at breakfast. Paula noticed, and she commented.

©2012-2014 by Christine Plouvier

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “A Sight for Sore Eyes.

  1. I think all the versions of noticed that you’ve indicated over a couple of posts sound fine. It may seem like an inordinate amount if you count them on a word search, but scattered over a couple of hundred thousand words, it’s really not…wait for it…as *noticeable* as you may think. But seriously, unless there is more than one instance of the same word in the same paragraph, it usually isn’t a problem. Sometimes when a writer goes out of their way to list various synonyms to avoid repeating a word, it sounds forced and not like a “natural flow” of conversation (or in this case, narration).

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  2. My being a “pantser” writer means that I did just that: It felt as if I was taking dictation! With my upbringing, education, life experience and professional career cramming such an enormous vocabulary into my head, I never had to look for a synonym. either: it always seemed as if the right word was right there. [I think you’ve been there, too! 😉 ]

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