PHYSICAL FEATURE THESAURUS

LIPS



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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:
Smile: grin, beam, smirk, simper, sneer, twist, upturn, lift, quirk
Frown: grimace, moue, scowl, pout
Flatten: narrow, thin, mash together, disappear, compress, tighten, press
Kiss: smooch, smack, peck, graze, caress, skim, tickle, flick, brush

EMOTIONS AND RELATED GESTURES:
  • People play with their lips quite a bit. When nervousness or uncertainty abound, it’s common for people to bite or chew on the lips or rub at them with fingers or a hand. The lips are often pressed together when someone is holding back their true feelings or opinions.
  • Happiness or contentment may be expressed by lips that whistle, hum, or smile.
  • On the other hand, disgust is shown by wrinkling the lips or curling them away from the teeth.
  • Frowning is a common sign of anger, sadness, disappointment, or confusion.

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