CTS Entry: Fuzzy
Posted by Angela Ackerman
A horse's winter coat
Nape of neck
Army hair cut
Synonyms: downy, frizzy, furry, hairy, pilate, wooly, velutinous, fluffy
Describing texture in a story creates intimacy between reader and character, and can even cause an emotional trigger for both. To anchor the reader in the scene, make sure comparisons and contrasts are clear and relatable, and within the scope of the narrator's life knowledge and experience.
A weaker example:
"Nice hair," Beth said, then pinched her lips together to hold back a grin. Mike's new goth dye job made his head look like a cheerleader's pom pom that had been struck by lightning--crispy black and sticking up in all directions.
What's wrong with this example?
This description is okay, creating a strong visual, but the best way to convey a texture is through touch.
A stronger example:
I opened the door to say goodnight to Drew, but he had already fallen asleep. Moonlight spilling through the blinds bathed his face and on impulse, I crept up to his bed and gently touched his cheek. The velvety feel brought on the prickle of tears--at his age, Drew could barely be called a boy. Soon the soft fuzz would stiffen into bristles needing to be shaved, and he would need me less and less as his independence carried him to manhood.
Why does this example work?
A bond is created between character and reader when the tactile contact triggers a strong emotion from the texture. The result is a shared, meaningful experience.