Just to keep the wheels spinning, what of the verb "padded" and in "Bob padded to the kitchen sink". Amazon forums will tell you it's a no-no, and "padded" only applies to creature with paws. Would you allow padded to be applied to humans?
'Political correctness' has expanded into 'literal correctness.' The rise of the Word Police. Where would creative writing be without the creativity?
Surely 'padded' is some kind of descriptive simile (or metaphor)? It expresses a movement or a type/way of moving, very succinctly.
"Natalie saw doe-eyed Sarah weaving her spell upon Mark and flew across the room to confront her."
Of course humans can neither fly nor have the eyeballs of a deer transplanted into their heads.
Reading your use of the word 'padded' as an example was very relevant to me because I'd read the passage below in a novel just minutes earlier;
She swivelled in her seat, snatched up the mug and recoiled as her lips met the cold sarcoma that had formed on the coffee's surface. Beyond her reflection in the window the moony sea seemed to shiver.
Georgie got up and padded across to the kitchen which was separated from the living space by the glossy rampart of benches and domestic appliances. From the freezer she pulled out a bottle and poured herself a serious application of vodka. She stood a while staring back at the great merging space of the livingroom. It was big enough not to seem crowded, despite the fact that it held an eight-seater dining table, the computer station and the three sofas corralled around the TV at the other end. The whole seaward wall of this top floor was glass and all the curtains were thrown back. Between the house and the lagoon a hundred metres away there was only the front lawn and a few scrubby dunes. Georgie slugged the vodka down at a gulp. It was all sensation and no taste, exactly how a sister once described her. She smiled and put the glass down too loudly on the draining board. A little way along the hall Jim was asleep. The boys were downstairs.
This excerpt is from the novel 'Dirt Music' by the author Tim Winton. (a study subject of mine at the moment). I would guess that the Amazon forums would rip Winton apart as his descriptions can get very abstract (this snippet is quite tame; but selected because it uses 'padded). Apart from that this is a huge global selling novel of high acclaim. A book store shelf staple, Amazon have shipped loads of copies (including mine).
The sea can 'seem' to shiver but can it actually be moony? Can you slug a drink at a gulp without being repetitive/redundant and including a footnote explaining that when you say slug, you are not referencing the slimy garden invertebrate slug (philomycidae), or the swing of a fist or bat (and by bat you mean sports equipment rather than a flying animal (chiroptera)...
'Georgie got up and padded across to the kitchen...' as I read, it creates a subliminal image of how she moves. I see her in fluffy slippers on a tiled floor conscious that the rest of the house members are sleeping. I think that the description 'padded' invokes that imagery (just as 'moony sea' does for my image of the ocean).
"She stood a while staring back at the..." Should it be, 'She stood for a while staring back at the...' ?
'It was all sensation and no taste, exactly how a sister once described her.' (loved that line, although I do understand that she is actually carbon based, all skin, bone and nerve endings).
I'm a Winton convert. I was unaware of his work until assigned his novel 'Breath' within course work. The point of studying Winton's prose, I suppose is to examine the very questions posed in this thread. Does newly created literature have to be written literally/unambiguously in the new puritanical, sterilized style, or can the literary Cavalier or wordsmith still exist? Has the AutoCrit generation of Amazon Forum editor killed prose?