Pet Peeve: Embers, Pools, and Orbs (Updated 5/4/2020)

What do embers, pools, and orbs all have in common? They all make me cringe when used to describe eyes.

A Smolder, Embers, Anything Else That Burns

The burning metaphor usually occurs to convey a character's lust or anger. In the movie Tangled, Flynn uses his "smolder" on Rapunzel, and just like her, I'm not impressed.

Your Eyes Should Come With A Lifeguard

If you can stare at someone's eyes all day, fine. Just don't drown on me. It's not that deep.

Jade Orbs Met Onyx

Using orbs as a metaphor for eyes may seem to give writers freedom to paint with all the colors, but this description generally comes in only three types: precious stones, metals, and dessert foods.

First up, precious stones. Like the subtitle above, some writers pair colors of precious stones with orbs. Some don't stick to the same color, like using obsidian and onyx interchangeably. They change the color, regardless of the character's actual eye color. Jade orbs become emerald, then peridot, then garnet. Sapphire orbs become cobalt, ruby orbs become spinel, until writers exhaust their knowledge of gemstones.

Next, metal orbs. Golden, silver, copper, bronze, and steel orbs are among the most popular choices. They lack the glamour of jewels, but still sound expensive. Am I captivated by their shine? No.

The most distracting category for me is sweets. Honey, caramel, toffee, and chocolate are writers' preferred eye candy. You know what I think when I read the words "chocolate orbs?"

Malt balls. I know I'm not supposed to take it literally, but that's the image I get.

Some writers taste the orb rainbow and get addicted. I've tasted the orb rainbow and now I'm allergic.

What descriptions make you cringe and why? Let me know in a review.