how to describe concern in writing
For example, he or she may be shocked and angry, or shocked and happy. and then you simply have to mention her eyes to bring up the image of worried eyes without calling them that. This is the most helpful article I have read about telling vs. i’m highly grateful to you, thanks a lot n million, may god bless you a long and happy life.

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Wow….that’s probably one of the most useful lists I’ve ever seen…thanks! Instead make sure that the dialogue sounds angry or nervous and so speaks for itself. Our high school English teachers all drilled that into us. She may treat others with kindness or indifference. I make my character Tesk fidget with things a fair amount (though I've had to explain to some readers why she's flipping through a book randomly in the middle of a conversation), but her aunt doesn't ... except she'll take off her "reading oculars" when she's exasperated or frustrated with something (another mannerism "borrowed" from some academic types I've known--when the glasses came off in the middle of a conversation, you knew you'd pushed some button). .’. Avoid all adverbs used to describe dialogue – ‘he said angrily’, or ‘she said nervously’. Most popular writers, from what I've seen, violate most of these rules at least occasionally, and some violate them often. This is dangerous if astute advice. Worry is at least related to fear, and I wonder if wide-eyes couldn't be used to describe a look of worry as well. Visual Storytelling – Free Course, The 17 Most Popular Genres In Fiction – And Why They Matter, 123 Ideas For Character Flaws – A Writer’s Resource, 5 Incredibly Simple Ways to Help Writers Show and Not Tell, 5  Instances When You Need To Tell (And Not Show), The 4 Main Characters As Literary Devices, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression, Janet Burroway’s 4 Aspects Of Narrative Time, The Top 10 Writing Posts From October 2020, 10 Common Mistakes Journalists Make (& How To Avoid Them), 350 Character Traits – A Fabulous Resource For Writers, 106 Ways To Describe Sounds – A Resource For Writers, 75 Words That Describe Smells – A Resource For Writers, 204 Words That Describe Colours – A Resource For Writers.

Great information not only for writing but observation of these behaviors in action. ...DESCRIPTIVE WRITING DESCRIPTIVE WRITING is the clear description of people, places, objects, or events using appropriate details. Is it strange to say a color with “gaze”? and it’s not on the list. Describe the sound of an aeroplane taking off, without using ‘rumble’ or ‘roar’. When you are completing your character biographies, be sure to include how your main characters move and talk. Thanks. "Her eyes looked worried." Thank you! This is especially important for your protagonist, antagonist, confidant, and love interest. As you mentioned, eyes wide open already means more than one thing for you.

Ask yourself whether you can find a simple way to describe it, so that readers respond to it anew. No more adjectives. That is, no cliches, no adverbs, no "to be" verbs, no passive voice etc. Thank you so much for sharing. And sometimes in the middle of writing, when we’re trying to find the words to describe an angry expression or a sad expression, we draw a blank.

Dragons and grammar rules. and "A dragon stood at the end of the lane." None of those are meant to be"never do" rules - they're "watch how you handle these because they're often overused" guidelines. Now that I've been writing and critiquing, I sort of snicker at those scenes where a writer feels the need to describe the physical attributes of the pov character, for instance, in a situation where he or she would not likely be thinking about them (or to artifically make the opening scene in a story take place in a dressing room with a convenient mirror nearby).

What, dragons? Very useful…simply superb. I'm sorry Daus, but Peesh is liek one of those sounds I make (It's actually onomatopoeia where I say the word for the sound) when I'm annoyed at something: Peesh! Adverbs can also easily be overused and so make it harder for readers to visualise what you’re describing. A quirked or single raised eyebrow=skepticism or amusement. Great work! One great way to avoid that is to give your character something to do. If this thing ever gets published in any form, I should send him a copy. I know I’ll be referring back to this list often. Thank you so much. What is body language and how do you use it when you write? My first thought was that she was seeing smog! They have places on the web where they have pictures of people experiencing different emotions (often related to psychology research).

Adjectives (words that qualify a noun) can be useful, but are often overused. Random Writing Rants. I would debate that that's telling. Thank you for taking the time to put them together. We could be talking or thinking. Use this list to help you with your body language descriptions. Also, the rage you feel when a doctor tells you your girlfriend has broken ribs, twisted ankle, wounds on her back due to a beating , and all that bad stuff, given to her as a 'punishment' by her dad and brother for reporting to the police. Readers have become so used to certain words and phrases that the descriptions fail to see the scene vividly.

(ALSO this character is a five year old kid) Thanks How To Blog ; ) Thank you! One time I counted the number of times “gaze” was used in a book and found an instance of 5 times in 4 consecutive pages. Anything that aids progress writing is useful, but anything that aids progress stops you thinking – and it is only by thinking that he universe opens a portal and pours out something original. As it says in the post: ‘Obviously, a character may exhibit a number of these behaviours. "I don't know if that's the right thing to do." I got rid of the book.

Here are some of the telltale signs of anger in a person’s expression: Their eyebrows would be lowered and pulled closer together Their eyelids would become squinted or raised (or their eyes may bulge if they are enraged) Simply superb compilation !

Raised eyebrows=surprise.

“Sorry” (head lifts, jaw pushes out, eyebrows raised indicating belligerence and complete lack of genuine apology). Give her a prop, something to hold, and use that item to show what emotions she's going through. I agree that you don't want to go overboard with the showing either--except in situations where the character would really be noticing miniscule details. MS word's spellchecker says it is but this site's spellchecker says it's fine spelled without the accent. You're describing how things look from the POV of your character, not telling the reader what is going on "John was concerned about Jane's distress". This is why we are always told to use body language in our writing. Thank you.

Except when we don't.

--Farah Mendlesohn. You suggested wide-eyes = fear or surprise. Great resource for the scripts I’m co-writing. So it might be Thanks!!!

So, I created these cheat sheets to help you show a character’s state of mind through his or her body language. 2015 reviews completed: 15

Someone coming in from a different generational or cultural perspective may not know what you mean.

Last year's reviews: 145     Let us all strive to be better than we were before. But using the same "stock" descriptions of facial expressions can get repetitive as well, and sometimes spicing things up with a brief but more concrete observation can help draw a reader into a scene. Describe eating some chocolate, without using the words ‘sweet’ or ‘bitter’, ‘smooth’ or ‘brown’. The Silk Betrayal: a novel of magic and revolution in a caste-based society. Use it in moderation. Wide eyes can equal surpise or fear. [/cit] “Excellent list,” she said, rubbing her hands together and grinning. _____ Administrator.

There are also sites for people who want to learn to sketch or draw people or cartoons. He'd never run across it before and it didn't conjure up any images for him.

Stupid tourists! How To Write A Romance Thank you!

This is one of the most helpful writer’s guide posts I have ever seen.


So I usually trim it to one or two things. This is so useful!

--Stephan Nachmanovitch, Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art. Obviously, a character may exhibit a number of these behaviours.

Books available: At An Uncertain Hour, The Dweller in the Crack,  Steal Away, Anthologies I'm in: Light of the Last Day (the FWO anthology), Tales from the Fluffy Bunny, It's Come to Our Attention, Unburied Treasures, Trespass, The Tale Trove, Ravensmoot, All critiques are very welcome, but I'm especially looking for feedback on Tales the Winds Tell, The Empire of Nandesh, Children of Ice - revised, Dreams of Fire and Snow You're welcome to copy my stories if that makes the process easier, provided you don't use the copy for anything except critiquing here, But I'm not old; I've just lived a long time - the Traveller, "Personally, I wouldn't want to read that." Use it to show how your character’s emotions affect his or her actions. The difference between "there was a dragon at the end of the lane." I wasn't thinking so much of wide-eyed fearful worry, more that way people's eyes sort of flatten on the top and get more reflective when they've got something that's been eating away at them for a while and something you said just reminded them of it. Describing Things Afresh in the Story You’re Writing, Creative Writing Exercises For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition), Plotting Your Story When Writing Creatively, Get Writing Creatively with the Right Methods, Addressing the Question of Your Creative Writing Style. Sometimes, it’s easier said than written. Peesh picked at the edge of the messenger bag as she spoke, shredding away flakes of the old leather. A lot of the descriptions we all reach for first--the eyes, the lips, the hands, etc.--carry the danger that they might come across as cliche. Adverbs are sometimes used because the writer’s too lazy to think about the detail. etc.

Thanks for the helpful post! Thanks for compiling them. xP (Arg), How To Write A Book

That’s just bad writing.

Much the same, really. It could be something she happens to pick up at the beginning of the conversation or partway through, or some meaningful object that she had all along. This is a good list. Your character may be treated with fear or respect or disdain. This is the best of the “show” lists I have either made or found.

Body language happens when we are doing something. These cheat sheets are worth their weight in gold!

[cit]Peesh avoided his gaze,[/cit] We all know what worried eyes LOOK like, darn it (I can even tell when my dog is worried about something), but what is it about those eyes that screams worried? such an amazingly helpful post!

How To Write A Short Story Thank you xx, I would have liked to pin this on pint rest , This kind of reminds me of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi. Anger affects the entire face, so there are many options for writing about how the different features change. . Top Tip: Find out more about our online courses and workbooks in our shop.


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