Author Topic: 600+ Ways to Describe Smiles  (Read 20418 times)  

Offline GrandmaBirdie

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600+ Ways to Describe Smiles
« on: December 05, 2016, 10:10:50 AM »
June 27: 600+ Ways to Describe Smiles
Someone once said that everyone smiles in the same language. This post presents ways to include that language in writing and poetry.

June 27: 600+ Ways to Describe Lips and Mouths
More than kissing or eating machines, lips and mouths reflect overt or hidden emotions. This post provides hundreds of ways to describe them.

June 13: 17 Ways to Lose Friends and Un-Influence People on Facebook
Here's how you can prevent people from becoming (or remaining) your friend on Facebook. Many no-nos also apply to Twitter and other social media.

June 6: 600+ Words to Describe Necks
To a would-be borrower, a loan officer's neck might seem as scrawny as his compassion. How would you describe the neck of a sumo wrestler? A serial killer's victim? A coalminer?

May 30: 500+ Ways to Describe Fire
Would your WIP benefit from a few flames? Harness the power of fire in your narrative.

May 16: 500+ Ways to Describe Ears
Ears do more than hear or adorn a head. Check these adjectives, verbs, nouns, and phrases you can include in your WIP.

May 7: 400+ Opinion Adjectives
Songwriters have composed lyrics about loving arms, lying eyes, and cheating hearts. But can arms love? Can eyes lie, or hearts cheat?

April 23: 400+ Ways to Exploit Facial Expressions in Writing
In real life, scowls, smiles, and curling lips reflect underlying emotions. They should do the same in fiction or creative nonfiction.

April 16: 450+ Ways to Describe the Abdomen and Waist Area
Abs, abdomen, stomach, waist, midsection ... No matter what you call this area of the body, well-chosen words will strengthen your writing.

April 9: 600+ Words to Describe Arms
Although your first thought might be to find words for physical descriptions of arms, consider also the deeper meanings they can add to writing.

April 2: 350+ Words to Describe Teeth
The average writer describes teeth to boost physical imagery. But the extraordinary writer describes them to advance character and plot development.

March 26: Blogging a Book: Is It Still a Good Idea?
If you google "how to blog a book," you'll find thousands of pages that tell you how to do it. However, some of the rules have changed.

I'm back after a few weeks off for surgery and recovery.  :)

March 12: 500+ Words to Describe Faces
The face is usually the first thing people notice when they meet someone, and is often the body feature they rely on to make snap judgments.

March 5: 6 Tips for Remembering Story Ideas
If you're like most writers, ideas smack you on the head at the most inopportune times: while standing in line at the bank, when you're driving to work, just as you're falling asleep. No worries. Here are a few tips that will help you remember those ideas before they disappear into Lost-Idea Netherland.

This will be the last list for several weeks. Next Monday's blog post will explain why.

January 29: 300+ Ways to Describe Noses
The nose is a word-tool that can add depth to writing. This post provides more than 300 ways for writers to incorporate and describe noses.

January 22: Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Terms Used by Writers
Are you overwhelmed by the jargon spouted by people in the publishing industry? You'll find many definitions here.

January 15: Every Author and Poet Needs This Measurement Tool
Do you leave comments on blogs, ask bloggers to review your books, and volunteer for guest posts? Try this tool that helps you choose the right blogs.

January 8: 450+ Ways to Describe Legs
Adjectives ... comparisons ... movement and feeling ... nouns ... anthropomorphization. Legs can add new dimension to writing.

December 18: Alternatives for "Afraid"
One flaw that might spur readers to abandon your book is excessive repetition. This post presents alternatives for "afraid."
(Last post until 2018.)

December 11: 16 Confusing Words and Phrases to Monitor in Writing
You know what you mean, but will others understand? This post discusses a few common words and phrases that readers might misinterpret.

December 4: Do You Overuse Similes with "Like"?
Ice cream is like similes. You enjoy that first creamy spoonful and delightful flavor. But what if you ingest too much too quickly?

November 27: Alternatives for Really+Verb Phrases
Really, exceedingly, immensely, very ... These modifiers are *really* overused by many writers. Consider these alternatives for really+verb phrases.

November 20: Other Ways to Say "Use"
"Use" haunts public signs, hangs out in instruction manuals, and gluts novels. This post presents dozens of ways to mitigate "use" overuse.

November 13: Alternatives for "But"
The simplest words are often the toughest to replace. Although rewording is an excellent option, sometimes direct substitutes function best.

November 6: Alternatives for "Because"
Although finding replacements for "because" is difficult, it's not impossible. Try these alternatives.

October 30: Other Ways to Say "Get"
GET ... or buy, pilfer, borrow, commandeer, mooch, requisition ... Strong verbs engage readers. Lackluster verbs bore them.

October 23: Why Effective Dialogue Often Ignores Writing "Rules"
Dialogue should sound real. It should motivate readers to finish "just one more chapter." After another. And another.

October 16: Strong Verbs Cheat Sheet
Ambiguous verbs dilute writing. Strong verbs invigorate narrative and deliver precise meanings--without increasing word count.

October 9: Action Beats: More than Dialogue Tag Surrogates
Action beats, like any literary device, distract readers if abused. Overreliance on them weakens writing.

October 2: 9 Ways to Reduce Reader Confusion
If you confuse readers, your narrative will be ineffectual. This post suggests alternatives for several instances of confusing wording.

September 25: How to Conquer Your Crutch Words
Crutch words contribute nothing more than fluff. These obnoxious weeds creep through your work and choke its vitality.

September 18: How to Exploit Negativity in Writing
Most people use negative words in dialogue. But would creative writing be stronger without all the nothings, nones, nevers, and nots?

September 11: Rules, Rules, Rules. 9 Writing "Rules" Examined
Rules barrage writers from all sides. This post dissects a few rules and presents examples of why they might (or might not) be valid.

September 4: Redundancies 102: 250+ Ways to Reduce Word Bloat
Is your WIP plagued by word bloat? This post provides more than 250 phrases that you can delete, or replace with shorter alternatives.

August 28: 100+ Ways to Say "Sad"
Emotion in writing captivates readers, but if Mary Sue is sad on every page, she soon becomes irritating. Try these alternatives.

August 21: 6 Ways to Reduce "-ly" Adverb Abuse
Mark Twain found adverbs unexciting. So do readers. Energize your writing by pruning adverbs that end in "-ly." These steps will help.

August 14: 200 Ways to Say "Angry"
"Angry" is an innocuous word--unless it appears too often. These alternatives will help you avoid "angry" repetitions (and angry readers).
« Last Edit: July 05, 2018, 09:47:54 AM by GrandmaBirdie »

Offline EmmaS

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Re: Over 400 Words to Describe Hands
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2016, 11:49:42 AM »
That was oddly fun to read! Just a few of those words were able to conjure images and ideas for my WIP. Thanks. :D

Offline GrandmaBirdie

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Re: Over 400 Words to Describe Hands
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 12:17:15 PM »
That was oddly fun to read! Just a few of those words were able to conjure images and ideas for my WIP. Thanks. :D

 :D I'm glad you found it useful, Emma. Any other words or concepts you'd like me to research?

Offline EmmaS

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Re: Over 400 Words to Describe Hands
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 02:58:35 PM »
Alternatives to nodding. My characters love to nod, and I would love for them to STOP. ;D There are so many other ways to convey that someone is listening or paying attention or agrees, but I go blank when I'm writing/editing sometimes.

Offline Nancy_G

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Offline GrandmaBirdie

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Re: Over 400 Words to Describe Hands
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 08:20:35 PM »
Alternatives to nodding. My characters love to nod, and I would love for them to STOP. ;D There are so many other ways to convey that someone is listening or paying attention or agrees, but I go blank when I'm writing/editing sometimes.

Your wish is my command, Emma.

Other Ways to Say "Nodded"
« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 02:16:46 PM by GrandmaBirdie »

Offline GrandmaBirdie

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Do you undervalue texture in your writing?
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2016, 05:52:26 AM »
Warning! Writing prompts ahead.

Visuals are often a writer's first consideration. We might describe dimensions, shape, and color. Sound could come next, followed by scent. We might assign taste attributes to food, teardrops, and lipstick.

Sadly, many writers undervalue texture.

Over 400 Adjectives to Describe Texture

Online Anna Drake

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Re: Do you undervalue texture in your writing?
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2016, 08:43:44 AM »
Thank you very much. These are excellent tips.


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Offline Word Fan

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Re: Do you undervalue texture in your writing?
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2016, 09:39:01 AM »
When I was practice writing in kindergarten we dealt with texture. We had texture in our writing paper. It was that lined yellow paper with little wood chips in it.

(Sorry. I couldn't resist.  :-[  True story, though.)

Offline FFJ

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Re: Do you undervalue texture in your writing?
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2016, 01:10:57 PM »
Thanks Kathy! I'm a fan of your helpful posts and visit your blog whenever I get the chance!

Continued success.

Offline GrandmaBirdie

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Re: Do you undervalue texture in your writing?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2016, 01:49:18 PM »
Thanks Kathy! I'm a fan of your helpful posts and visit your blog whenever I get the chance!

Continued success.

Thank you very much. These are excellent tips.

Thanks! Please let me know if you have a word wishlist, and I'll add your suggestions to my to-do file.

Online Anna Drake

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Re: Do you undervalue texture in your writing?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2016, 02:03:45 PM »
Thanks Kathy! I'm a fan of your helpful posts and visit your blog whenever I get the chance!

I agree. I will be visiting the blog again, and while there earlier today, I signed up to be notified of new posts. Thanks again, Kathy. Good stuff.


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Offline Christopher Bunn

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Re: Do you undervalue texture in your writing?
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2016, 09:30:24 AM »
This topic reminds me of an experiment we did in school. I think it was around Halloween time. The teacher had closed boxes filled with different substances. The boxes had a small hole in them that allowed us to put our hands in but not see what was inside. We had to guess the contents by what we felt.

Pretty interesting. Very easy to be wrong.

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Offline Ethan Jones

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Re: Over 400 Words to Describe Hands
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2016, 02:12:32 PM »
Wonderful lists, thanks for sharing.
Blessings,
E

Offline GrandmaBirdie

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Re: Over 400 Words to Describe Hands
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2016, 02:17:48 PM »
Wonderful lists, thanks for sharing.
Blessings,
E

My pleasure, Ethan. Nice to meet another fellow Canuck here.

Offline Carol (was Dara)

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Re: Over 400 Words to Describe Hands
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2016, 02:24:31 PM »
I could always use some new ways to scowl.  ;D

Offline GrandmaBirdie

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Re: Over 400 Words to Describe Hands
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2016, 02:32:10 PM »
I could always use some new ways to scowl.  ;D

You're the second KBoarder who has asked. Guess it will have to move to the top of my priority list.

Offline GrandmaBirdie

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Re: Over 400 Words to Describe Hands
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2017, 06:22:08 AM »
I could always use some new ways to scowl.  ;D

Hi, Carol. Happy New Year!

Today's post is Over 200 Ways to Say "Frown" or "Scowl."

Offline GrandmaBirdie

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No! Another frown. And a scowl. What else can I use?
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2017, 06:27:05 AM »
How often do your characters frown or scowl? Are you looking for alternatives?

Over 200 Ways to Say "Frown" or "Scowl."

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Re: No! Another frown. And a scowl. What else can I use?
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2017, 06:29:29 AM »
How often do your characters frown or scowl? Are you looking for alternatives?

Over 200 Ways to Say "Frown" or "Scowl."

Smile
laugh
cry
smirk
grimace
grin
yawn
quirk eyebrow
bite lip
wink
roll eyes


http://www.dailywritingtips.com/100-words-for-facial-expressions/

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Offline Sean Sweeney

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Re: No! Another frown. And a scowl. What else can I use?
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2017, 06:51:22 AM »
Grimace, the corners of her/his mouth tumbled.....
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Offline The Bass Bagwhan

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Re: No! Another frown. And a scowl. What else can I use?
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2017, 05:00:12 PM »
Grimace, the corners of her/his mouth tumbled.....

Sorry, no offense to you Sean, but this is one of my pet hates when someone's lips "curl up at the corner" or their "brow furrowed". A simple "smiled" or "frowned" is all that's needed.
As for the OP, if you're referencing characters' facial expressions so often that you're now struggling for alternatives, you're using that device far too much. And your dialogue should be portraying that emotion anyway.
As an editor I see authors constantly, repetitively, describing frowning, smiling, nodding and shrugging.
Try saving your MS as a nonsense file that you can fiddle with, then do a Find and Replace with something like Find "smile" and Replace with "smole". The process will display how many times the edit is applied. It's a way of discovering how often you're using any word or phrase and you'll probably get a nasty fright.
Good luck with it.
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Offline amdonehere

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Re: No! Another frown. And a scowl. What else can I use?
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2017, 06:18:19 PM »
[quote author=Graeme Hague link=topic=245971.msg3426336#.
As for the OP, if you're referencing characters' facial expressions so often that you're now struggling for alternatives, you're using that device far too much. And your dialogue should be portraying that emotion anyway.
[/quote]

You made a very good point, but the challenge I find is the need to add beats to break up the dialogues so half the page doesn't read like a script. I've in fact intentionally observed people in conversations in real life. Interestingly, in real life people don't move or gesture that much when they're talking. If they're sitting in Starbucks talking they just talk for a long time and nothing much happens except their facial expressions (other than eating or drinking beverages). But in fiction we have to find things to break up the dialogues, so it's not all about portraying emotions.

Offline kathrynoh

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Re: No! Another frown. And a scowl. What else can I use?
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2017, 07:16:55 PM »
It depends a lot on the weight of the emotion. If it's just to break up dialogue (and coffee shop scenes in particular are hard I find), then just a frown or a smile. If the emotion has more importance then it needs something more than just a frown. What are they doing with their hands and the rest of their bodies?

Tbh, I use people shredding up paper napkins way too much in cafe scenes :) I think because it's a personal habit.