Tag Archives: senses

Eyewash!

IRISH FIREBRANDS: A Novel ~ and Other Works by Christine Plouvier, Indie Author

eyes1We’ve looked at the incidence of “noticing” (83 uses) in IrishFirebrands. Now, let’s consider its prevalence.

The novel is just under 200,000 words long. Searching a PDF copy found 508 uses of the verb “to see” (230 see, 163 saw, 80 seen and 35 seeing). The runner-up was forms of “to look” (468). That makes at least 1,059 instances of reported vision, of which the 83 uses of “noticing” make up less than 8%.* Therefore, the amount of “noticing” that happens in IrishFirebrands doesn’t seem to be excessive in proportion to the expression of other notions of sight.

eyes4But I think this issue is part of a bigger picture, one that concerns the value of vocabulary. For some time, now, the trend has been to disparage and discourage the use of most adverbs, many adjectives, and even alternative verbs (especially when writing dialogue attribution tags, with…

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The Eyes Have It!

IRISH FIREBRANDS: A Novel ~ and Other Works by Christine Plouvier, Indie Author

Googly

The last one-third of Irish Firebrands (chapters 23-34) contains a eyepopping 34 instances of “notice.” Should any have been expressed differently?

  1. But after their first Wednesday together, when Lana was headed back to Dillon’s flat, she observed Medb exit a shop – accompanied by some girls she didn’t recognise – and noticed that Medb’s skirt seemed to be shorter than she recalled it to have been, when the girl had changed out of her school uniform that day.
  2. As she passed the bookcases, she noticed the stack of sketchbooks again.
  3. He also noticed links about genealogy – of special interest because that was Lana’s occupation.
  4. Then he noticed John Sweeney seated on a podium at the head of the room.
  5. He didn’t know the barman, but he noticed the man look curiously at him when he placed an order for food and a fizzy drink.
  6. From the corner of his…

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A Sight for Sore Eyes.

IRISH FIREBRANDS: A Novel ~ and Other Works by Christine Plouvier, Indie Author

750px-1976_campaign_sunglasses

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…

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