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Sunday, March 24

Sunday Writing Tip: Rewrite Body Parts Acting on Their Own

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

Each week, I’ll offer a tip you can take and apply to your WIP to help improve it. They’ll be easy to do and shouldn’t take long, so they’ll be tips you can do without taking up your Sunday. Though I do reserve the right to offer a good tip now and then that will take longer—but only because it would apply to the entire manuscript.

This week, check for disembodied eyes, hands, fingers, heads, and feet acting on their own.


While we understand what we mean to say, sometimes we write phrases that come across as a body part doing something all on its own. Eyes dart around rooms, feet wander the streets, hands reach for things—often with unintentionally comic results.

If the body part sounds like it’s a separate entity from the character, and you’re not trying to instill that feeling, consider revising.

For more on avoiding inadvertently funny body parts in your novel, try this article:

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