CTS Entry: Crumbly


Natural:

Sand
Sandstone
Dried poop
Rotten wood
Soil
Clay
Dried mud
Dry riverbed
Rock slide
Scree
Gravel
Craggy cliffs
Dead leaves
Charred wood/ash
Eye grit
Snow crust
River banks/lips
Cliff edges
Canyons
Pollen
Sap crust on pine/spruce trees
Dried bark


Man-made:

Whole grain flour
Corn meal
Cookies
Muffins
Biscuits
Cakes
Crusts
Apple crisp
Pastry
Dry bread
Cornbread
Cheese (gorgonzola, bleu, lancashire, cheshire, feta)
Potato chips
Crackers
Sand castle
Old parchment
Chalk
Decayed bricks
Old fudge
Historic castle walls or buildings
Buildings in war torn nations
Crushed graham crackers
berry cobblers or strudels
Dried concrete leftovers
Old ruins
Loose plaster or stone cobbles
Crushed nuts
Fertilizer
Dried sugar crust

Synonyms: brittle, deteriorated, friable, powdery, pilled, clumped, lumpy

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 weak example:

I brushed at my blouse, the cookie globs falling off like old barn paint.

What's wrong with this example?

This is close-but-not-quite-there description. Globs suggest a roundish, bulkier shape, whereas old barn paint suggests slivering flakes.

A strong example:

I brushed at my blouse, the cookie globs falling off like sun-baked clay at the edge of a cliff.

Why does this example work?

Here the imagery shapes line up just a touch better.

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8 comments:

spamwarrior said...

yay! Another cool word with description!

C.R. Evers said...

another excellent list!

now I'm really hungry for a berry cobbler. mmmmmmm . . .

Roy Buchanan said...

I likey. Well done. :)

Angela said...

Thanks Spam, CR & Roy! You guys are awesome!

Beth Kephart said...

My goodness. Thank you for bringing me (in your own sweet way) to your site. I know how much work this entails, and how helpful it is.

PJ Hoover said...

Dried poop. LOL!
Thanks as always!

Deb Logan said...

Nice list!

Angela said...

Thanks everyone! And PJ, I swear, we don't have a fetish about poop.

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