Sep 12, 2008

Sparkling Eyes

Have you noticed that in Romance novels (you read 'em, I know you do), either the hero or heroin's eyes are 'sparkling'? Frankly, this has always rather scared me. I've never seen anyone's eyes actually sparkle, and in fact, if I did, it might scare me just a little. Here's the definition, note verb usage ("pleasure sparkling her eyes.").

--verb (used without object)

  • To issue in or as if in little sparks, as fire or light: The candlelight sparkled in the crystal.
  • To emit little sparks, as burning matter: The flames leaped and sparkled.
  • To shine or glisten with little gleams of light, as a brilliant gem; glitter; coruscate.
  • To effervesce, as wine.
  • To be brilliant, lively, or vivacious.

--verb (used with object)

  • To cause to sparkle: moonlight sparkling the water; pleasure sparkling her eyes.


  • A little spark or fiery particle.
  • A sparkling appearance, luster, or play of light: the sparkle of a diamond.
  • Brilliance, liveliness, or vivacity.

Here's some synonyms for sparkle: shine, glitter, glisten, flash, flicker, twinkle, glint, spark. Seeing eyes flicker and spark wouldn't be too high up on my list either.

When you are looking your true love in the eyes, have you ever seen them emit sparks or leaping flames? Gawd, I hope not. I can go along with the glisten, but that really wouldn't be sparkling. "A little spark or fiery particle"….OUCH!

In my novel, I was going to leave most of the detailed descriptions up to the reader, and just give them a head start: tall, blond, blue eyes. When I do get to the lovey-dovey and must describe the eyes at that moment, I think I will go the "brilliant, lively, vivacious" route. Honestly, when I read that eyes are sparkling, it makes me laugh first, then worry a smidgen.


Anonymous said...

I quit reading "ROMANCE" novels, read bodice rippers, when I was 20. Although there was a short period in the 80's that I picked up a series that started with a girl from the Steppes of Russia who (after a series of wild and crazy events) wound up marrying a Count. The next book took up with her oldest son then his oldest son and so on for about six books. It was historical and sexy...obviously appealing to me on both levels. Can't remember anything else about the books, except I read them...Too bad, I'd like to read them again.
Right after that, I picked up Anne Rice's Witch series. That reminded me of the "forbidden" Interview with a Vampire I had read in 1975 while pregnant with my first kid. Boy, did that book knock my socks off! I actually felt guilty for enjoying the book so much. It really expanded my little world and enlarged my capacity for accepting folks that weren't EXACTLY like me...I never know what you might be missing out on!
BTW! CUDOS to the folks who cast Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in the movie! WHOO HOO!

Princeton McKinney said...

OH don't tempt me. I can find out what those books are....I've got connections. And if I find them, you are gonna have to re-read them AND post an opinion. I've decided I don't "review", I "opinionate".