A fellow writer sent me this blog article, "Cliches to Avoid Like the Plague" by Dan Reilly, a Hollywood story analyst, & asked me what I thought.
I'd never really realized that "Just looks" & "They laugh" are unnecessary stage (as in theater) directions.
He also writes about my biggest pet peeve: the truncated action descriptions.
ex. “Two legs. Running fast. Night sky. No stars. The legs. Run faster. A bomb. No time. EXPLOSION.”
The idea is to keep the sentences short b/c readers have no attention spans. That is good.
However, a whole script of truncations will cause me to see red. (And yes, I have.) I'll probably go Hulk on you.
These aren't sentences. They're fragments. For NO REASON. That's NOT COOL.
My eyes get tired from stop-start-stop-start. I'm not paying attention to your story.
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Unless you've got a @#$()*% good reason, don't use truncated action descriptions.
What are @#$()% good reasons?
To point out the murder weapon: "He shot her with an Uzi. Her Uzi."
To slow the reader on purpose: "Scarlett. In red. Leaping from the cliff. THE END."