TEXTURE THESAURUS

COLD



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HELPFUL TIP:

Textures are an excellent way to bring readers deeper into the scene. As you freshly describe textures found in the setting, readers will be reminded of their own past experiences. Used in conjunction with colors and patterns or shapes, the object associated with this texture can become easier to imagine, especially when dealing with something abstract.
COMPARISONS:

NATURAL:
Ice
Cold water
A frozen pond or lake
Sleet
Snow
A blizzard
Glaciers
Icebergs
Ice floes
Icicles
Ice at the edge of a river or creek
A mountain road
The air in winter
A cold front
A winter breeze

MAN-MADE:
An ice skating rink
Frozen drinks (slushies, frozen lemonade, milkshakes, etc.)
Cold beverages
A cold bottle (of beer or soda, for instance)
Popsicles
Metal objects in cold temperatures (door handles, bench railings, water spigots, etc.)
Ski slopes
A cold pack
An ice bath
A cold shower on a hot day
Igloos
Ice fishing holes
Ice sculptures
Ice cream
A walk-in freezer
A blast of air-conditioning on a hot day
An unoccupied bed on a cold night

SYNONYMS:
cold, freezing, frigid, frosty, glacial, arctic

PRACTICAL EXAMPLES:
Describing texture in a story is a powerful way to pull readers into a scene. Not only does it give depth to specific setting details, it can actually create intimacy between a reader and character. Because textures are universal, describing how something feels to the POV character can evoke a sense of 'shared experience' in a reader. To anchor your audience in the scene using textures, make sure that comparisons and contrasts are clear and relatable. Choose textures that are naturally a part of the character or narrator's life knowledge and experiences.

A WEAK EXAMPLE: Matt drew up the frozen lemonade through the too-small straw. He knew it wasn't good to drink something so cold after being so hot, but the coolness of the frozen drink tasted—Oh no! He set the cup down and massaged his forehead. It had given him a brain freeze!

WHAT'S WRONG WITH HIS EXAMPLE? This sample is as painful to read as it is to write. While the description adequately conveys the cold texture of his drink, the word choices and overall style don't read as realistic; they don't sound like a teenage boy sucking down a frozen drink on a hot day. This passage is a good example of the importance of staying true to your viewpoint character so he will read as believable to the reader.

A STRONGER OPTION: Matt made disgusting slurping noises as he chugged his frozen lemonade. His tongue was going numb, and the drink would probably make him sick, but he was so hot, and it tasted so—Ack! He slammed the cup down and grabbed his forehead with both hands. Brain freeze!

WHY DOES THIS WORK? The verb choices (slurping, chugged, slammed) along with the accompanying actions paint a clearer picture of the viewpoint character while also conveying the  desired cold texture.