Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Have You Overlooked Something?

I’ve always liked the word “look” because you can make eyes out of the o’s and the word looks like what it means. Leftovers from my days as an elementary school teacher, I suppose.

The word is also a great command:

Look out!
Look before you leap.
Look it up.
Look both ways.

And one of my favorites: “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth!” (Isaiah 45:22 NKJV).

But sometimes we fall back on a word because it’s easy. We use “look” when we should choose gaze, perceive, focus, stare, or countless other more precise terms.

A couple of my writer friends (Donna Basinow and Marian Merritt) tagged me in their blogs about “look” as a weasel word—one that sneaks into our writing undetected.

The manuscript I’m working on at the moment runs right at 32,000 words and I’m aiming for 50,000. So far, I’ve used the word “look” or one of its variations 99 times. That doesn’t seem too bad to me, but when I edit back through the manuscript, I’ll chuck some of those “looks” for a more appropriate synonym.

Relying on one word is too easy and makes for boring writing.

But relying on Almighty God who sees into our very soul, well, that’s something else altogether. I’m so glad He has the look of love where we’re concerned.

“They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces were not ashamed” (Psalm 24:5 NKJV).

I’m tagging fellow authors:

Clare Revell
Paula Mowery
JoAnn Carter
Carla Rossi
MaryAnn Diorio

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