TEXTURE THESAURUS

CRUMBLY



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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:
Sandstone
Dried poop
Rotten wood
Soil
Clay
Dried mud
A rock slide
Scree
Gravel
Craggy cliffs
Dead leaves
Charcoal
Snow crust
Loose soil on river banks
The edge of a cliff
Canyons
Pollen
Dried bark

MAN-MADE:
Whole grain flour
Cookies
Muffins
Biscuits
Cakes
Crusts
Apple crisp
Pastry
Dry bread
Cornbread
Cheese (Gorgonzola, bleu, Lancashire, Cheshire, feta)
Potato chips
Crackers
Sand castles
Old parchment
Chalk
Decayed bricks
Old fudge
Historic buildings or ruins
Buildings ravaged by war
Crushed graham crackers
Berry cobblers and strudels
Plaster
Old stone cobbles
Crushed nuts
Fertilizer

SYNONYMS:
deteriorated, friable, pilled, clumpy, lumpy

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: Rory brushed at her blouse, the cookie globs falling off like old barn paint.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS EXAMPLE? This is a close-but-not-quite-there description. Globs suggest a roundish, bulkier shape, whereas old barn paint suggests slivering flakes.

A STRONGER OPTION: Rory brushed at her blouse, the cookie globs falling like dirt clumps kicked off a cliff.

WHY DOES THIS EXAMPLE WORK? Here, the imagery is better because cookie globs are more similar to dirt clumps than paint flakes.