This next one temporarily “bumps” me out of the story I’m reading because I notice it. Noticing something can be good or bad: I can notice something in the writing that makes me go, “Oh that’s good – wow!” or I can notice something that makes me go: “Oopsie!” Of course, I never say “oopsie” but I just like writing oopsie.
You do not want readers to notice too much. You want them engaged in the world of your characters and place and time and setting. The fewer things you have that “bump” your reader out of their dream-world of Your Story, the better. One of the most frequent things I hear about Tender Graces is: I had a hard time putting down your book and hated for it to end; but I read it fast and it ended too quickly! Do you know how that makes me feel as a writer? On top of the world! And why does my book move quickly? Why do readers want to keep reading? Why does it move quickly even if they do not want it to end? I hope because they are engaged in the world of my characters and story without too many “bumps.”
While reading, this is something I see with my eyes inside their sockets where they belong. I hold the book in my hand that is attached to my arm that is attached to my shoulder that is attached to my body that is connected to my brain, which tells me what to do by using nerve endings; each of my body parts acts because I/my brain function asks or tells them too; they do not move on their own—I digress.
This, again, is a matter of thinking about that scene, how it “looks” (reads, is perceived) when the reader is full into your story and wants to stay there.
Here are some examples:
Analisa’s eyes fell on the table where the ring lay. They did! OMG! Get her to the doctor! Her eyes have fallen out of their sockets and landed onto the table….eeeeek!
Tim’s eyes followed Janna to the door. Wow, his eyes fell out of their sockets, and now they’re bouncing along … following her to the door.
Of course, everyone knows the writer doesn’t mean the eyes are literally falling on a table or following someone to the door, but, do you see what I’m pointing out? Imagine the scene.
Here are some other body parts:
Peter’s hand reached out and grabbed Jessica. His hand has a mind of its own!
Terri’s foot caressed Tom’s leg. Naughty foot, I wonder if Terri knows her foot is doing this!
What is a better way to describe these scenes where the Person is doing the action, not the body part? Even if you use a simple statement: Petter grabbed Jessica.