PHYSICAL FEATURE THESAURUS

EYES



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HELPFUL TIP:

Physical features should do more than simply describe how a character looks. Just like their occupation or area of giftedness, a character's appearance can say a great deal about them. Hinting at traits through clothing choices, alluding to an emotional state through movements, and highlighting certain details for comparison or contrast purposes can help readers form opinions on who the character really is.
DESCRIPTORS AND KEY ELEMENTS:
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COMMON ACTIONS AND ALTERNATIVE WORDS TO DENOTE THEM:
Look: see, watch, glance, gaze, glimpse, note, notice, observe, peek, stare, view, take in, scan, spy, spot, behold, eye
Move: roll, shift, narrow, blink, bat, wink, close, open, widen, dilate, dart, follow, squint
Cry: leak, tear or well up, fill, water, overflow, glisten, drip, pour, weep, seep, flow

EMOTIONS AND RELATED GESTURES:
  • Eyes are very expressive and can give obvious clues about a person's emotional state. When someone is experiencing sadness, the eyes can grow dull and lose focus or go distant. If their sadness is acute, eyes will tear up and glisten as they grow watery.
  • Eyes indicating fear will widen and dilate; in a person's need to see everything around them, the eyes will roll quickly in their sockets and cease to blink.
  • Anger is another emotion that can be easily expressed with the eyes. They may narrow and "harden", seeming to pin people with a newfound intensity. Angry eyes are perceived as cold and sharp. They often look as if they're snapping or sparking as they glower, stare, or glare at others.
  • Happiness, on the other hand, can result in eyes that are bright; they sparkle and "laugh" and can even tear up in extremely happy circumstances.

SIMILE AND METAPHOR EXAMPLES:
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CLICHÉS TO AVOID:
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BODY DESCRIPTION NOTES:
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