I came to the conclusion today that many of my characters in my first book raise their eyebrows, make dismissive gestures, shrug, purse their lips, etc. far too often. I didn't realize that I'd written a melodrama.
It's important that readers believe a character's emotions, and simple gestures help enhance dialogue and convey emotion. But if it's done too often, it only weighs down the narrative. As I revise and re-edit this book, I'm smoothing things out, making the language flow, and learning from the year I spent writing another book and reading the many, many writing blogs that are out on the internet.
I encourage you to do the same. If a book you've written never got accepted by an agent or a publisher, maybe it's time to take a new look at it and remove some of the over-expressions. If that's a problem you suffer. Because I do.