PHYSICAL FEATURE THESAURUS

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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:
Run: hurry, race, dash, dart, flee, hustle, jog, scramble, scurry, scamper, rush, tear off, sprint
Walk: amble, meander, ramble, saunter, step, stride, hike, lumber, pace, plod, roam, shamble, shuffle, stroll, strut, toddle, tramp
Tiptoe: whisper, sneak, steal, patter, pad

EMOTIONS AND RELATED GESTURES:
  • In the throes of anger, people will place their feet with force, causing them to stamp, kick, run, stomp, crush, trudge, hammer, or pound.
  • Worry will initiate more tentative motions such as shuffling, nudging, scuffing, shifting, scraping, jittering, tingling, jumping, fidgeting, or pacing.
  • Sadness slows a body's movement even more. In response to this emotion, the feet may drag, shamble, stumble, trip, weaken, go numb, or go limp.

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