PHYSICAL FEATURE THESAURUS

HEAD



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HELPFUL TIP:

One trick to writing fresh emotional responses is to focus on different parts of the body. Think carefully about the character’s exact emotions in the scene and how the body might shift or move in response. Vividly describing the colors, shapes, or textures in the character's environment can also bring the scene to life for readers.
DESCRIPTORS AND KEY ELEMENTS:
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COMMON ACTIONS AND ALTERNATIVE WORDS TO DENOTE THEM:
Nod: dip, incline, bow, tip, bob
Shake: wag, jerk, swing, flick, swivel, pivot
Move: cock, slant, tilt, twist, shift, lean, turn, pitch, bend, whip, rotate, wobble

EMOTIONS AND RELATED GESTURES:
  • People often move their heads without thinking, especially when they're interacting with others, so the head can be a good indicator of a shift in emotion. During conversation, a person may tip his head forward when he's experiencing uncertainty, nervousness, or embarrassment. This movement is also a common way to conceal an emotional reaction to what is being said or done.
  • Rubbing the back of the head can be a self-soothing gesture in response to worry, anxiety, sadness, or dread. A head tilted to the side is a also good indication of deep thought; it can mean that a person is focused on what’s being said or is searching for the the right way to respond.

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