Comment to 'Writing advice'
Comment to Writing advice
  • On one hand, it's as Kate says: too easy a fallback.

    The other hand is slightly subjective. Consider how people smile. It's a continuum, from the passive face through something hinted at, to satisfaction, to maniacal. I suspect that a lot of the objection to smiling is that some people interpret it – by default – as the upper end of that scale; they don't notice the lower end of the scale. And there are also people who feel that others who are permanently a few notches above passive are somehow derranged or hiding something or… (Knowing that life is out to take the piss, I've got a permanent smirk on my face, and as such have been on the receiving end of such opinions.) So, effectively, this is an issue of lack of precision.

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    • And then there’s the “smile” that is actually a grimace when your yoga teacher says “yes, keep smiling!” (and the exclamation mark is allowed because that’s how she speaks).

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      • I would add that the danger or having your characters smile or grin or even shrug too often is that the *one time* in your book when that smile or grin or shrug actually signifies something important, the reader might not notice it. 

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