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This is the text:

Erin scanned the room for a moment. She suddenly stopped, and went over to the bookshelf. Then, as if she were searching for a secret passage, she examined each book carefully.

(By stopped, it means that Erin suddenly stopped scanning the room and fixed her eyes on the bookshelf).

I'm not very sure about this but I think words like stopped and came to an halt are more commonly used to refer to someone who stopped walking or running (not sue if came to a stop sounds better).

Is there any other word or phrase that I can use in my example above? (unless stopped is perfectly right in this situation).

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closed as off topic by FumbleFingers, Brian Hooper, Kris, choster, Hellion Jun 12 '13 at 22:03

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I don't see anything wrong with stopped. It simply means that she ceased her present activity. –  p.s.w.g Jun 12 '13 at 1:36
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writing advice off topic. might try Writers. –  MετάEd Jun 12 '13 at 1:36
    
If you had meant to say something other than stopped there, then you must try to express that verb, else the question will result in speculative answers. –  Kris Jun 12 '13 at 10:42

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

My choices would be "paused", "hesitated" or "halted".

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But this is really a general reference question. See a thesaurus. –  TecBrat Jun 12 '13 at 4:10

"stopped" is perfectly common to use to indicate cessation of any activity. He stopped reading. He stopped scanning the room. She stopped calculating differential equations. The lawnmower suddenly stopped.

If there is a particular implication that you are aiming for, you might want to check the dictionary for all meanings of "stopped", then check the thesaurus for all synonyms, and the dictionary for all meanings of those synonyms.

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The first word that came to mind when I read the sentence was "paused." As in, "she suddenly paused." That could refer to movement, but I have no trouble thinking that it refers to her scanning of the books. However, 'stopped', as well, works fine in the context. 'Paused' just seems to be a slightly more descriptive choice.

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