PHYSICAL FEATURE THESAURUS

SHOULDERS



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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:
Lift: raise, curl, hoist, heave, boost, hike
Tense: tighten, harden, strain, constrict, contract, stiffen
Push: nudge, jam, shove, knock, thrust, prod, poke, jostle
Drop: sag, lower, cave, plummet, bow, hunch, dip, round

EMOTIONS AND RELATED GESTURES:
  • In the midst of disappointment or resignation, the shoulders tend to drop, bow, or pull forward. As the body's posture loosens, the shoulders will curl over one’s chest.
  • A shrug is a common motion to indicate indifference or confusion. This can be done with one or both shoulders and is often accompanied by broken eye contact.
  • In times of wariness or anger, a person's shoulders will stiffen and the muscles will grow taut. This is one physical manifestation of fight-or-flight, as the body prepares to battle or run.

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