1. deadrats
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    deadrats Active Member

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    The look

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by deadrats, Aug 28, 2016.

    You know when someone gives you a look and you just know what it means? The look. It could mean a lot of things depending on the context. But is it necessary to describe this look.

    For example, something like: After I ate the last piece of my mother's birthday cake, she looked at me like she no longer loved me and sent me to bed early.

    We all know that parental look of disappointment. Would you try to describe that look or is it enough just to say it? This is not an example from my story, but I believe it's close enough for me to ask how you guys would handle it. I would like to avoid giving more details about this look if it works. I'm uncertain, though. What do you think? Have you ever used "the look" in your writing? Did you go into detail or not? From the example above, can you picture the look enough in the context that you don't need a physical description of it? Or should what this look looks like be explained for clarities sake?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think it depends in the focus of things. If the emphasis is on the way the person canalized and portrays the look, then yes, I would say some description is in order. But if the look is just a vehicle for the rest of what's going on, then no, I would not give it that much emphasis.

    If I were trying to indicate just how much Tom feared the reaction of Jason if I were to mention something to him about his wife, then I will describe the way the panic plays across Tom, his look, his reaction. If I'm just trying to indicate that Tom is trying to indicate to me that Jason's wife is a no-no subject, then it will be succinct: Tom shot me a silencing look.
     
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  3. izzybot
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    izzybot Human Disaster Contributor

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    Depending on tone / character voice I'd do something like one of these. The actual meaning of the look is pretty interchangeable,

    Sam gave her a look and she shut up.
    Sam shot her a shut up, right now look.
    Sam's look told her to shut up immediately.
    The look Sam gave her said if you don't shut up ...
    Sam glared. She shut up.

    I don't think you necessarily have to describe the look, or state what it means, as long as the action/response following it make it clear.
     
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  4. SardonicWriter
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    SardonicWriter Member

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    For all people, there has been at least one occasion or day where they were given the "look" by their mother or father, I believe. But to write that a "look" could visually come across, to a child or teenager, as a parent no longer loving them seems off. But you're the writer, and whether you wrote that with the intent of being serious or trying to get a laugh from the reader, I don't know.
    My thoughts on that matter.

    I'm just going to say whether or not, in your particular case, the "look" needs more clarification. And well, it doesn't. Why? Because you described the feeling behind the look well enough. The mother's "look" looked like she no longer loved him. I have never used the look before. I can picture it well enough, based on what you've written, not all may can. Although, it doesn't seem too hard to imagine the face of a mother who's just seen her child eat the last portion of her cake, going back to my first paragraph, that "look" of the mother that appears in my head doesn't go well with what you've wrote.

    Like Wreybies said:
    Please reply and tell us if what we've said covers your post.
     
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