Setting Thesaurus Entry: Beach

Sight

blue, green, sea-green, whitecaps, waves, uneven shoreline, horizon, cruise ships and sailboats way out at sea, planes flying overhead with advertising banners, seaweed, shells, sand dunes, cattails, starfish, jellyfish, seagulls, beachcombers, half-washed-away sand castles, tide pools, jetties, rocks, sunbathers, swimmers, joggers, surfers, football/frisbee-throwers, food and drink vendors, people fishing on the shore, babies with soggy diapers, dogs, sunburned skin, umbrellas, blankets, towels, coolers, bottles of tanning lotion and sunblock, flip-flops, lifeguard tower with flag flying, streamers of seaweed rolling in the surf, cigarette butts, leaping fish, flies, snorkelers, portable BBQs, picnic baskets, colorful loungers and chairs, buckets and pails, people playing volleyball, trinket/food/beverage hawkers, water fountains, public toilets/change rooms, skittering crabs, surf, floatable loungers, inner tubes, water wings, colorful beach balls, banana boats

Sounds

crashing/rumbling/whispering waves, gusts of wind, seagulls crying and flapping, children screeching, people talking and laughing, snatches of conversation carried on the wind, umbrellas flapping, dogs barking, music, children crying, seadoos or powerboats thundering past, highway traffic, sea grass shushing in the breeze, planes flying overhead, kite streamers rattling in the wind, people pumping up floatables (boats, loungers, balls)

Smells

hot, briny, salty, hot dogs and burgers, suntan lotion, wet towels, sweat, seaweed/algae, spilt beer, taco chips, grease, bug spray

Tastes

salty air and water, sweat, cold water from bottles, hot dogs and burgers, soda, bitter drip of lotion, ice cream treats/ Popsicles, chips, gritty sand in food

Touch

soft sand, dry sand, gritty sand in your suit, scratching, chafing, sweat trickling, water running, sand sticking to wet feet, oily lotion, prickly sunburn, rough towel, hot sand burning your feet, sun's heat beating down, cold water bottle or soda can, heat coming off of people near you, the cooler air beneath an umbrella, cool/warm breeze, scratch of sand in your eyes, bumpy and smooth seashells, splashing water, cold or hot water, pull of undertow, startling scratch of seaweed tendrils brushing against skin, chafe of water-splashed shorts/pants, hair tangling in the wind and sticking to neck

Helpful Hints:

--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Ex 1: The purity of blue sky and warm sunlight soothed me like a tropical balm, scattering my worries about the upcoming trial.

Ex 2: I unravelled my towel on the strip of unused sand between an overweight woman sunbather and a single mother and her pack of squalling children with food-encrusted faces. Ahead, two yellow umbrellas with a string of wet towels between them blocked any chance of a view of the ocean. What was this, a damn tent town?

--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Ex 1 (simile): A patch of sea grass nodded in the wind, pointing toward the glittering waves like a signpost.

Ex 2 (metaphor): The surf thundered in, grabbing at the dry sand with frothing fingers.

7 comments:

colbymarshall said...

I absolutely LOVE the word "skittering"...LOVE IT.

Just_Me said...

You girls are so creative! I love it!

PJ Hoover said...

I must have a beach somewhere in my books that I can revise using this. Think, think, think. Yes! I do have a beach. This will be perfect!
Thanks!

Bish Denham said...

Excellent! Seeing as how I'm from the Caribbean...the only thing I would add is the swooshing sound of the wind through palm fronds, it sounds very similar to the sound of wind through pine needles.

There are also bugs...mosquitoes and sandflies.

Becca said...

Ooo, the wind in the fronds. That's a great beach sound.

Anonymous said...

I thought sea grass was the kind of algae manatees eat?

I have some tactile description to add: getting out of the water at the end of the day, chilled, pruney-fingered, and pleasantly exhausted, rubbing warmth in and sand off with a towel; getting in by inches, holding your arms up out of the waves as they inch up your ribs and tickle at your armpits; floating underwater, rocked by the swells; the suddenness of diving in; moving up and down through the temperature gradient, or in and out of warm and cold patches; dropping into an unexpected dip in the sea floor...I think I'll stop listing now.

Anonymous said...

Whoopsie, sea grass isn't algae, it's a flowering plant. But it does spend its entire life cycle submerged.

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