Texture Thesaurus Entry: Smooth


Natural:

Skin of an apple/eggplant/watermelon
Leaves
River-tumbled pebbles
Pearls
Rose petals
Shark fin
Driftwood
Grapes, cherries, plums
Snake skin
Horse hide
A grain of wheat
Lamb's ear
Pineapple stem
Bell pepper
Bird's beak
Claws
Fingernails
Tomato
Peeled garlic
Hazelnut shell
Beetle shell

Man-made:

Paper
Freshly shaved skin
Metal
Plastic
Sterling silver
Gold wedding band
Top of a drum
Cardboard (cereal box, pizza box, etc)
Dry nail polish
Dry paint, varnish
Glass
Silverware
Polished Marble/alabaster, Granite
White board
Chalkboard
Knife blade
Bowling lane
Glazed tile
Silk
Hard Boiled egg
Candle wax
China
Hardwood floors
Basketball court
Bowling ball
Gun Barrel
Cake fondant
Silk

Synonyms:

Polished, flowing, sleek, flat, flush, lustrous, refined

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:

Uncle Cletis fired off a gap-toothed grin as he ran his hand over the bib of his secondhand overalls. "See, all broke in and smooth as a shark's fin to boot!"

What's wrong with this example?

No offense to dear Uncle Cletis and his charming country twang, but I'm thinking he's probably never seen, smelled or touched a shark's fin in his life. Comparing texture should ALWAYS be in the context of the characters and their experience.

A strong example:

Uncle Cletis fired off a gap-toothed grin as he ran his hand over the bib of his secondhand overalls. "See, all broke in and smooth as a sack of oats to boot!"

Why does this example work?

This comparison is more attuned to a life on the farm, which we can reasonably assume from his overalls and dialect.


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9 comments:

Karen Lange said...

I like these posts! Thanks for sharing it and giving me something to think about:) Blessings!

Bish Denham said...

Hummmmm. Pineapple leaves are serrated along the edges, not exactly smooth. But maybe I'm being picky. Most fabric might be considered smooth, like silk or velvet, the ultimate smooth.

Angela said...

Thanks Karen!

Bish, I was thinking more of the leaves tha are actually on the pineapple. Technically the 'stem' but thery look more like leaves? Maybe I'll switch it to stem and it'll be less comfusing. And yes, silk--that's a good one. Thanks!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Good morning! I have an award waiting for you at my blog today - come and see! :)

coelbren said...

no baby's bottom? or is that too overused already :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

Man, that apple looks tasty!

This is the best thesaurus site ever- I love it!

PJ Hoover said...

What about a baby's butt? Smooth as a baby's butt, right?

Nice post!

Angela said...

Thanks Shannon! I just stopped by and you made my day!

Coel, you know, I didn't think of a baby's bottom. I think it might be overused tho--it makes me think of TV commercials for some reason.

Stephanie, thank you so much. And yes the apple looks so shiny and crunchy. I had to pick it for the picture!

PJ, looks like you and Coel are thinking on the same wavelength, lol!

colbymarshall said...

*snicker* "Unlce Cletis"...*SNORT*

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