By Lonnie Cruse
I'm a huge fan of HGTV and apparently some of the people who appear on the various shows are fans as well, because they all spout the same popular phrases as they wander through other people's houses, looking to buy. Lots of natural light. Light and airy. Gotta have hardwood floors. Gotta have stainless steel appliances. Gotta have granite counter tops.
We live in the Midwest, where you can buy an entire house for the price of a small bathroom in California or New York. We have light. We have airy. Granite counter tops aren't quite as numerous but our walk-in closets make theirs look like glorified shoe boxes. So there.
Favorite phrases. They pop up in novels as well. I forgot to grab my cell phone off the charger (translation: the protagonist is now without any way to call 911 for backup, so must chase and/or run from the killer aaaaall alone. The cop/sheriff/DA (take your pick) is so stupid, he/she will never solve the case, and since I was in the neighborhood when the murder took place, I'll be arrested (never mind that 100 or so other suspects were there too) so I'll have to solve it myself. I never carry a firearm, they're too dangerous, so I'll face the bad guy bare-handed. I don't suspect this person, so of course, I'll accept a ride to a remote location. And the ever popular, I heard a noise in the basement. The lights are out, I can't find a flashlight, and the phone isn't working, so I'll just skip down there and see what's going on.
Okay, the last three aren't actual phrases, but it's what the protag often does that has the reader grinding her teeth.
Are there any common or popular phrases in books that drive you nuts? If so, would you share them with us? How would you word yours differently?
And what color are your granite counter tops, by the way?