Are the Eyes the Window to the Soul?

Mr. Miyagi bowed. His student followed. The old teacher slapped his young student behind the head. "Look eye! Always look eye." Daniel-san bowed with eyes glue on his teacher. Sticky.

My favorite thing about women are their eyes. Every time I meet an attractive woman, I'll see if I can read anything in their eyes. Is there anything stirring behind them? Any depth that'll make them interesting? Hoping that I'll connect to that intangible thing that sparks love at first sight.

In writing, is there anything wrong with using the eyes?

'His eyes dropped to the floor when he learned of his daughter's late night activities.'

Must have hurt!

'She snapped her eyes away when she opened the bedroom door to her parents' copious play.'


'Her clothes dropped to the floor. His eyes burned with desire.'


I'd read an article about using the words eye and look. The author was editing a manuscript where the word look was used every single paragraph.

I laughed out loud. "What an amateur," I said in a British accent.

I turned to my completed manuscript, did a search for the word look, and found over 400. "Whatever!" I said in a valley girl voice. That was nothing. My word count was around 130,000.

Then I searched for more related words--glance, stare, gaze, watch, glimpse, eye, gander, squint, peek, peep, and all of the conjugated versions. Let's just say I felt very amateurish as I squinted my eyes in anger. Fire blazed from my eyeballs to my screen.

So how do we say that someone is looking at something wihout saying he's looking at something. Maybe like this:

He hid behind the curtain. His wife undressed. Her lover lit a candle. She giggled like a dirty girl. The strange man with a perfectly manicured five o'clock shadow unbuttoned his shirt. Two slabs of muscle bounced when he removed it.

So instead of saying he saw all this, just describe the scene. This was a huge revelation, freeing me of the looking words.

We're so inundated with TV and movies and great actors using their eyes to communicate their lines. It's no wonder that writers fall into the trap of having our characters glance and look at everything.

Using them is totally fine. Just don't over use.