Texture Thesaurus Entry: Pitted

Natural:

Unpolished marble
Sandstone
Orange peel
Honeycomb
Acne scars
Barnacles
Avocado skin
Molars
Strawberries
Coral
Sea sponge
Moon's surface
Hardened lava
Peach pits
Almond shells
Potatoes
Pumice
Anthills
Termite nests

Man-made:

Old concrete (sidewalks,etc)
Cracker tops (Ritz, soda)
Weathered brick
Rust blooms
Golf balls
Sponges
Weathered buildings and statues
Old tombstones
Linoleum
Old coins
Hand-blown glass (bubbles)
Corks
Sponge toffee
Aerated lawns
Pavement

Synonyms:

Pock, honeycombed, cratered, pocked, pock marked, spotted, marked,

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:

Janice smiled at her date, taking note of his expensive suit and watch. He wasn't the best looking guy with his face a pitted road map that detailed his long and wretched history with acne, but he obviously had cash. His slumped shoulders and hopeful gaze said he'd part with it too if it meant getting someone like her to play the role of arm candy.

What's wrong with this example?

This isn't bad, but it's a bit weak because the texture is explained rather than compared or contrasted to something of a like texture.

A strong example:

Janice smiled at her date, taking note of his expensive suit and watch. He wasn't the best looking guy with his thinning hair and a face more pitted than a cheap linoleum floor. Obviously had cash though and his slumped shoulders and hopeful gaze said she'd be able to walk all over him.

Why does this example work?

This comparison has nice symmetry. Not only does the lino comparison give a good image of what his skin looks like, it segues well into showing how Janice likes to treat her men. The texture has done double duty, providing not only physical description of one character, but also the personality of the other.

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6 comments:

Roy Buchanan said...

Nicely done, Angela. :)

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

You truly amaze me with these lists. I like barnacles and strawberries--so varied and fresh.

Bish Denham said...

We were pitted against each other in a contest for who had the most pitted peach pits.

FictionGroupie said...

Your brain must hurt after doing this. That's so much to come up with. :) Thanks for doing the work for us!

Mary Witzl said...

I always like your weak examples and find them useful. They make me really pore over my texts, line by line, to identify places where the writing is flat, with no verve or life or whatever it is that makes me sit up and take notice when I'm reading. Before, I never knew why some sections of my manuscripts zinged and others just fizzled out, but I have a much better idea now, partly from making visits here. Believe me, I have learned so much from your blog!

Angela said...

Thanks so much everyone! I am so glad these entries help. :-)

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