I like to think I’m pretty good at writing description, even though I use it sparingly in my books. I don’t like reading a lot of it, so I don’t write a lot of it. I put in just enough to spark an image in the reader's mind. Some people prefer reading a mile-long paragraph describing a character’s dress. Not me.
But I do want to see the characters –their mannerisms, expressions, actions, reactions – the overall package. A couple of cleverly written sentences usually does the trick. And once in a while, one word can do it too. I’m talking about that one word that shows us body language, facial expression and emotion.
If you remember from a few controversial blog posts ago, I collect dialogue tags. Sadly, that well has dried up. So I’ve started collecting one-word descriptions. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
And I'm confident that these are just the beginning.
Remember, one-word descriptions should only be used occasionally, otherwise your novel will read like Dick and Jane (and never get into an editor's hands).
Ah...it's so nice to have a hobby. Do you guys have any to add?