Facial Expressions

Her brows furrowed and her nose crinkled.  There was a smell in the air and it smelled like death.

I have trouble with facial expressions.  I can see what the face looks like in my head, but for some reason all my fingers can do is type words like “Frown”, “Smile”,  and “Anger.”  I do more telling and less showing when it comes to facial expressions, which if you have read anything about writing, you know is a big no no.

It seems that in the writing world we are to focus more on showing every little detail instead of just writing that our character is happy or sad.  I get it, and I understand.  I just can’t seem to get my mind to work the right way.  I have such a hard time showing how my character feels.  I use a lot of smiling, frowning, and red faces.  Which, if you think about it, it’s kind of the basics of life.  We are smiling, frowning, or blushing most of the time.  Not many people sit, staring off into nothing with a blank expression on their face.

I am good at telling my readers when someone is shocked or afraid, which is usually the same thing.  Wide eyes and gaping mouth.  Well, gaping mouth for shock.  Afraid is what?  Lips pressed together tightly?  But then there is that wonderful “ly” word that seems to cause an epidemic in the writing world.  At least, that is what all the articles say.  I will have more to say on that later.

How many times can you describe someone looking curious or confused?  How about concerned?  I had that come up in my writing last night.  My character was concerned and I had no idea how to really describe that facial expression other than tilting her head to the side and one eye brow raised.

Do you struggle with facial expressions?  How about body language?  Where is all the help on these things?  Someone needs to write a book on how to describe facial expressions.  Unless there is one out there and if there is, please tell me where I can find it.  I obviously need to broaden my knowledge, but I am finding my way.

NaNoWriMo is a good thing for me this year.  I have been in a writing slump since February and it has not only pulled me out, but also has me looking and thinking more deeply about my own writing.  I can feel my writing getting better with every word I put on the page and every search I type into Google.  Maybe every month should be NaNoWriMo…except maybe one month should be NaNoEdiMo (National Novel Editing Month,) that’s not a thing is it?

NaNoWriMo Update:  15,840 Words

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2 thoughts on “Facial Expressions

  1. WasimSpeaks says:

    Most of the writers have this problem. I’ve it too but it seems like I have more problems than you and the descriptions you mention in this post is helpful. Thank you and keep posting.

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