I've gotten too comfortable with my writing. Need to do something about that. In a short story I wrote recently, my characters did a lot of chuckling, eye rolling and frowning. Nothing wrong with this, right? It is when they're used out of pure laziness. I couldn't think of another way to show annoyance or exasperation so, my characters rolled their eyes. That. is. not. good.
I roll my eyes often enough, but when a character does it, repeatedly, for no good reason then... something's wrong. As writers, we need to know why we put every word into our stories.
My first instinct was to buy a book on body language, I always go to a book, but then I thought of a free (relatively anyway) way to improve my work- people watching. How many times have you heard writers need to be people watchers? Countless right? I never tried it and this is what happens.
I reread, for the umpteenth time, Anne Bishop's Dreams Made Flesh. Reading this book made me realize how lacking my stories are. I've been studying writing for years but that doesn't mean my stories are perfect. Not even close.