Fear in Writing: How Eyeshadow is like Writing

Today in Literary History

Today in Literary History...December 14, 1907: Rudyard Kipling receives the Nobel prize for literature, the first English-language writer to do so.ud

Monday, November 2, 2009

How Eyeshadow is like Writing

I was readying myself for a baby shower yesterday, picking the right color palette for my eyes when I noticed I had put the eyeliner on a bit heavy. This happens occasionally and you basically have two choices: start over or make it work (thanks, Tim Gunn). I tried blending, but the liner became a dark, smoky shadow that, for any other occasion, would have been sexy and appropriate but for a Sunday afternoon baby shower was decidedly inappropriate.

Decision time again. Do I erase or keep going? I tried applying a lighter color on top. Some shimmery purple at the base with a creamy white above and at the corners. This had the desired lightening affect, but overall the lids just looked heavy. And they felt heavy, too.

I find writing is this way as well. There are so many points in a novel when you can make a choice to keep going or start over. Maybe it's not as cut and dry as eyeshadow, and you definitely have more invested in your fiction (though MAC gets pretty expensive). But the books we all stop reading are the ones that seem heavy. They are the ones the writers should have said to themselves, "Stop piling it on. Stop and erase. EDIT!"

That's what I am thinking today. Invest in some Almay, or the word processing equivalent.


  1. Well, I have no experience applying eyeliner(that I'd admit to) but, I understand your point.

    I’m currently revising my WIP…which I foolishly thought was finished several…well, a long time ago. Clearly not so. Anyway. I’ve cut, cut, cut, so much so that it IS like starting over. I’m talking several thousand words. I’ve also rearranged chapters. So, yes, starting over—or its equivalent—can be very helpful. At least I’m hoping that’s the case. It reads better to me, anyway.

    Best Regards, Galen

    Imagineering Fiction Blog

  2. Sometimes less truly is more. Sometimes not. Like the amount of eyeshadow, it depends on the occasion. Light, breeze books deserve bright breezy vocabulary. Dense subject matter demands dense words.

    Or, maybe I just never learned enough about make up.


  3. Great point, Michele. I like to leave a little to the reader's own imagination instead of plying it on really thick.

    And my makeup is nearly non-existent these days, too! :)

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  4. Good post! I tend to be light-handed in both my make-up - perhaps not as light-handed as Galen :) - and in my writing. I enjoyed heavier books when I was younger and had more time in large blocks. Now I prefer things I can take in small chunks of time. But that's just life :)

  5. This is why I don't wear make-up all that often, it's enough to keep up with the writing!

  6. Just an FYI (not related to your post -- sorry!)... Wishful Wednesdays has a new hostess (Brooke agreed to take it over). So, I'm afraid I can't pass it on to you. But, thank you again for offering! I really appreciate it!
    PS.. There's a link to Brooke's blog on today's WWW Wednesdays post. :)


  7. No problem and thanks for letting me know! I'm glad it is passing on! It's a good meme!