It is rant time on Scatteredthoughtsandroguewords because my breaking point has been reached, people!!!! Since I became a guest reviewer on Joyfully Jay and started my blog, the number of books I have been reading has gone off the charts. So it won’t surprise you all that some of the books I have been reading have been less than stellar and some have been just outstanding. The quality of the books has been all over the place but some truly awful world usage has popped up again and again. And I can’t take it any more! So to all authors out there (and you know who you are), please I am begging you, cease and desist from the following:
Orbs: The use of the word orbs when describing eyes. No, no, no, and absolutingfuckatively no! Eyes may be described as many things, windows of the soul, soulful, leering, squinty, bedroom, vacant but never an orb. Unless you are describing an alien, no that still doesn’t work. Then its eyes on stalks, like these beauties pictured here. Orbs are spheres, globes, balls, spheroids, spherules, circles. One can say “My what a lovely orb you are carrying today, destruction of the universe on the agenda?” What I don’t hear or want to hear? ”My what lovely gray orbs you have? From your mother’s side of the family?” Yet, I have picked up two books in a row (and read several more) in which the main character describes the hunk in front of him with blue gray orbs, or fiery orbs, or who cares what color orbs.
It stops me cold. Especially when the author has done a wonderful job otherwise. So please stop. Run over to Val Kovalin’s site and read/buy the article How To Describe Eyes on obsidianbookshelf.com. Then laminate it and stick it above the laptop or whatever you use to write with. When you get the urge to splurge with the vocabulary and start to type orb – stop. If you have already done the deed, then become acquainted with Find and Replace. Use it often. Find “orb” replace with “eye.” It’s simple. I am begging you here! Don’t make me come find you!
Of Tits and Nips: There I was, happily ensconced in bed with my Kindle, reading this smoking hot sex scene. I have my glass of wine and I’m popping bon bons like bullets shooting out of a AK 47 as the two main characters finally strip off each others clothes as a prelude to some hot man love. John/Ethan/Insert Name runs his hands lovingly over Zane/Troy/Adam/Whoevers chest and then gives his tits a twist. Wait! What? Did I just read that right? I quickly put down the bon bons and scan that paragraph again. I enlarge the font and read “Hank/Ralph/Morey then proceeds to lick and bite Stan/Harry/Mordecai’s tits like a milk-starved calf reunited with his mother.” Yep, it’s still tits. The Kindle gets cold in my hands as I contemplate a chest and sex scene gone wrong.
When I think of a man’s chest (and the good Lord knows I do), it’s those wonderful sexy nipples that grab my attention first. Large or small, tight or at ease, all colors, it doesn’t matter. I just love them. I like to look at them. I like to read about them. Except when they are described as tits. Right or wrong, to me the word tit has feminine connotations. Woman have beautiful tits, gorgeous breasts, outstanding tatas, basooms, gazongas, whatever. We have oodles of names for womens breasts. Men who gender identify as women and men transitioning to women have tits. But men? Straight or gay men? Well then, it’s nipples all the way or nips if you prefer. If you have a man nipping the nip in a story, I am allfor it. Go on, lick that nip! Have your way with it! Just please don’t call it a tit. I have read descriptions where they were called tight buds, and I am okay with that. Nubs? That’s good too. Rub that nub ! But tits? When you get the urge, just take a gander at the picture above. And just say no.
Smiling Crookedly: This is just a minor pain that is looking to evolve into a major one with each new book that I read. Again, don’t get me wrong, I love characters that have that snarky, crooked grin. Usually it is pasted on the face of some scalawag trying to get a rise out of our hero and that grin just says you know he will succeed. But lately, some authors just can’t leave it at one or two references a story, or even a chapter. Once they start, the use of that crooked grin just steamrolls until it is the only facial expression that one character has.
I love it when the character beams, smiles from ear to ear, or has a broad or shy grin. And what has happened to the scowl? The frowny face? The leer? Please let us not forget to have our characters frown, glower, glare, grimace, give the occasional black or dirty look. I do see lots of smirks these days as well. Let’s not forget our characters can still be smug, snicker, and have a smothered laugh every now and again. This is just a cautionary plea to all authors. Please don’t botox your characters into facialimmobility and one expression hunks. The characters,your stories and the reader deserve far better than that. Just picture your male ideal, leaning in that oh so sexy manner against the wall, watching you. Could you take a crooked smile all day or after a few hours or so are you ready to slap his face off? See? Let’s keep those crooked smiles at a minimum please. Thank you.
And send me those words that make you hurl when you see them in a story. I am making a list. And checking it twice!