Texture Thesaurus Entry: Crusty

Natural:

Scabs
Dried sea foam
Lime
Dried Tears
Tree bark
Water scale
Eczema
Chips
Conjunctivitis
Dry gulch/riverbed
Dehydration --skin, lips, etc
Dandruff
Sunburn
Barnacles
Scabby potatoes

Man-made:

Meringue
Buns
Scones
Over gelled hair
Bread
Pastries
Pie crust/Pizza crust
Cookies
Rust
Freezer burn
Custards, baked gratin
Fried batter
Sugar/salt rim on drink glass

Synonyms:

Flaky, crispy, brittle, well baked, scabby


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:

After two days wandering lost in the Mojave desert, Oman's face was crustier than a freezer burned steak.

What's wrong with this example?

Desert...freezer burn? There's a lot better comparisons that don't mess with the hot/cold thing going on.


A stronger example:

After two days wandering lost in the Mojave desert, Oman's face was crustier than a charred loaf of bread.

Why does this example work?

This one provides a good crusty comparison and has the added bonus of a visual tying sunburn to burned bread.
Bookmark and Share

8 comments:

Bish Denham said...

Lichens are kind of crusty. And there's that crusty stuff on the bottom of a pan. In Puerto Rico there's an actual word for it, pegau. (I hope that's how it's spelled!) The pegau made from over-cooked, slightly burnt rice is considered by many to be a crunchy taste treat.

Angela said...

Thanks Bish--those are great additions. :-)

Liana Brooks said...

Is it my imagination or wasn't there ever an entry for Nervous in the emotion thesaurus?

Angela said...

I see one for 'Unease'

http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com/2008/01/unease.html

PJ Hoover said...

Crusty is good! I had the best crusty sushi roll at the grocery the other day. Yum.

Ray Veen said...

I haven't told you in a while, but I think your thesaurus is awesome.

Tara said...

Scab right off the bat was not a nice visual. I'd add craddle cap.

Erica said...

I use the word crusty all the time in my WIPs. Nice to see some alternatives :) Thanks again!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...