If you write fiction, you know it’s all about the emotions. What good protagonist doesn’t glare, stare or growl? Surely your leading female will need to shed a tear, give a smile, or gasp with fear at least once during your story.
The problem is—how to describe these emotions without sounding trite or overdone.
Well, I’ve stumbled upon a jewel that will help. The book is called The Romance Writers’ Phrase Book by J. Ken and C. Shelton. The authors have selected fifty common emotions, characteristics and movements, and listed over 3,000 ways to describe said emotions, characteristics and movements.
Why have your bad guy act angry when you can have him glare with hostility or let rage distort his features? Maybe his eyes can convey the fury within.
Speaking of eyes, let me tell you—romance writers know a thing or two about describing eyes. This section alone has a list 8 ½ pages long! Why have green eyes when you can have eyes the color of malachite? Eyes that glint indulgently. Or eyes that flash with azure fire?
Yes, some of these are a bit extreme for the non-romanticist, but this book is still a great source for thinking outside the stereotypical box. I can truly say, without a shudder of humiliation, that The Romance Writers’ Phrase Book has spiced up my descriptive writing.