Conquering the “Look”

Conquering the “Look”

By Leigh Holland.

Reviewing my chapter today, I searched the document for the word “look”. Gasping in horror, I realized I’d used the word “look”, or some conjugation of it, far too often. I was engaged in an epic mental struggle with the “Look”, a condition that’s tormented me for as long as I can recall. How can I conquer the “Look” once and for all?

Expressiveness of the Eyes

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They say that the eyes are the window to the soul. By that, they mean the eyes are so expressive that they give away the truth behind them. Here are some ways we can describe “looking” with the eyes.

Emotion

Expression of Eyes

Agitation Gaze bouncing from place to place, Avoided meeting her eyes
Amazement, Disbelief, Surprise Eyes widened, Rapidly blinked repeatedly, An open stare, Glancing at companions to see if they’re amazed, Lifting one brow, Incredulous stare
Anger, Contempt, Hatred Eyes protruded, a cold, hard glare, eyes narrowing
Anguish, Sadness Crying, wailing, weeping, reddened eyes, tears shimmering, tears welling up, Glistening eyes, Wincing
Annoyance, Irritation Raising eyebrows, giving a glassy stare, Narrowed eyes, eye-rolling, Focusing gaze elsewhere
Conflicted, Ambivalence Avoiding eye contact, increased blinking, Ping-ponging gaze
Confusion Narrowed eyes, eyebrows squishing together, Eyes cluding, Distant gaze, Staring at the ground, Blinking
Curiosity A sidelong glance, Raised eyebrows
Defeat, Depression Vacant eyes, Downward gaze, Staring at one’s own hands, Infrequently blinking, dark circles under eyes
Defensiveness Squinting eyes, a fixed gaze, Lowering brow, Eye-rolling
Desire Solid eye contact, Shining eyes, Glossed over eyes, softened gaze,
Desperation, Loneliness Wet eyes, Glossy eyes, Darting gaze, Feverish stare, Over-bright eyes, A longing gaze, Lack of eye contact
Dread, Fear Downward gaze, hair over face, Avoiding eye contact, Rapid blinking, Staring without seeing
Excitement, Happiness Sparkling, gleaming eyes, Making eye contact, Dancing eyes
Impatient Glancing repeatedly at watch, Narrowed eyes, Intense focus, Raised eyebrows, Massaging the temples with eyes closed
Love Strong eye contact, little blinking, Yearning gaze, Beaming eyes, Soft gaze
Nostalgia Unfocused gaze, Tear-filled eyes, Eyes bright with memories
Paranoia Scouting for exits upon entry, Unfocused darting gaze.
Regret, Remorse Eyebrows gathering inward, Staring at one’s feet, Tears
Resignation Quiet tears, Dull eyes, Staring off at nothing
Satisfaction, Peacefulness A raised eyebrow, A closed eye lidded look, Sparking eyes, A dazzling gaze

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Other Words Related To “Look”

ADMIRE ATTENTION AUDIT BORE BABYSIT BEHOLD BLINK BEAM CONSIDER CONTEMPLATE CASE COUNT CHECK CONTEMPLATION DELVE DO A SLOW BURN DEEM DISCOVER DISTINGUISH EVIL EYE EXAMINE EYE EYEBALL EXPLORE EXPRESSION FACE FERRET FLASH FRISK FORAGE GET A LOAD OF GAPE GLARE GLIMPSE GANDER GAZE GOGGLE GLOWER GRIMACE GLIMMER HEED INSPECT INTROSPECT INVESTIGATE JUDGE LEAF THROUGH LOOK-SEE LEER MOON MARK MOPE NOTICE NOTE ONCE-OVER OGLE OBSERVE PEEK PRY PROBE RUMMAGE RECONNAISSANCE RIFLE REGARD RECOGNIZE RESEMBLE SEARCH TAKE STOCK OF SCRUTINIZE SPECULATE SIMPER SEE SLANT SIFT SENSE SQUINT SPY STARE SIZE UP SWEEP SUPERVISE SURVEILLANCE SWIVEL WITNESS WATCH VIEW

Interested in other body language your characters can express? Check out The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression.

Happy Writing!

 

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It’s Very…

60 Words to Substitute for “Very” In Your Writing

It’s very…. No, it’s….
ANNOYING EXASPERATING
ANGRY FURIOUS
BEAUTIFUL GORGEOUS
BRIGHT LUMINOUS
BUSY SWAMPED
CALM SERENE
CLEAN SPOTLESS
COLD FREEZING
COLORFUL VIBRANT
CONFUSED PERPLEXED
CROWDED BUSTLING
DEAR CHERISHED
DEPRESSED DESPONDENT
DETAILED METICULOUS
DIFFICULT ARDUOUS
EMPTY DESOLATE
EXCITING EXHILARATING
FANCY LAVISH
FRIENDLY AMIABLE
FRIGHTENED ALARMED
GLAD OVERJOYED
HOT SWELTERING
HAPPY ECSTATIC
HURT BATTERED
INTERESTING CAPTIVATING
LAZY INDOLENT
LONG EXTENSIVE
MESSY SLOVENLY
NOISY DEAFENING
NERVOUS APPREHENSIVE
OLD FASHIONED ARCHAIC
OFTEN FREQUENTLY
PALE ASHEN
PAINFUL EXCRUCIATING
POWERFUL COMPELLING
QUIET HUSHED
RICH WEALTHY
SHINY GLEAMING
SHARP KEEN
SERIOUS GRAVE
SCARED PETRIFIED
SAD SORROWFUL
SKINNY SKELETAL
SMALL PETITE
SMELLY PUNGENT
SMOOTH SLEEK
SORRY APOLOGETIC
SPECIAL EXCEPTIONAL
TALENTED GIFTED
TALL TOWERING
THIRSTY PARCHED
TIGHT CONSTRICTING
TINY MINISCULE
UGLY HIDEOUS
UPSET DISTRAUGHT
WEAK FRAIL
WIDE EXPANSIVE
WISE SAGE
WORRIED DISTRESSED

132 Beautiful Words in English

132 Beautiful Words in English

Abeyance A state of temporary disuse or suspension
Acquiesce To accept something reluctantly but without protest.
Ailurophile A cat-lover.
Anaphora The repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses.
Aquiver Trembling
Assemblage A gathering.
Azure A shade of blue.
Becoming Attractive.
Beleaguer To exhaust with attacks.
Brood To think alone.
Bucolic In a lovely rural setting.
Bungalow A small, cozy cottage.
Callipygian Pertaining to having beautiful buttocks.
Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye.
Chinoiserie Imitation of Chinese motifs in Western art, furniture and architecture in the 18th century.
Comely Attractive.
Conflate To blend together.
Cromulent Acceptable.
Cuspidor A large bowl serving as a receptacle for spit.
Cynosure A focal point of admiration.
Dalliance A brief love affair.
Defenestration Act of throwing a thing out the window.
Demesne Dominion, territory.
Demure Shy and reserved.
Denouement The resolution of a mystery.
Desuetude Disuse.
Desultory Slow, sluggish.
Diaphanous Filmy.
Dissemble Deceive.
Dulcet Sweet, sugary.
Dulcimer A modern folk instrument related to the guitar and plucked with the fingers.
Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm.
Effervescent Bubbly.
Efflorescence Flowering, blooming.
Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word.
Elixir A good potion.
Eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech.
Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion.
Emollient A softener.
Ensconce To settle securely or snugly.
Ephemeral Short-lived.
Epiphany A sudden revelation.
Epoch A particular period of time marked by distinctive features.
Erstwhile At one time, for a time.
Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable.
Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time.
Evocative Suggestive.
Fetching Pretty.
Felicity Pleasantness.
Forbearance Withholding response to provocation.
Fugacious Fleeting.
Furtive Shifty, sneaky.
Gambol To skip or leap about joyfully.
Glamour Beauty.
Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk
Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free.
Harbinger Messenger with news of the future.
Heirarch A person who rules or has authority in sacred matters.
Imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern.
Imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation.
Imbue To infuse, instill.
Incipient Beginning, in an early stage.
Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible.
Ingénue A naïve young woman.
Inglenook A cozy nook by the hearth.
Insouciance Blithe nonchalance.
Inure To become jaded.
Iridescent Displaying a play of lustrous colors like those of the rainbow.
Juxtaposition The state of being close together or side by side.
Labyrinthine Twisting and turning.
Lagniappe A special kind of gift.
Lagoon A small gulf or inlet.
Languor Listlessness, inactivity.
Lassitude Weariness, listlessness.
Lilt To move musically or lively.
Lissome Slender and graceful.
Lithe Slender and flexible.
Love Deep affection.
Luminescence The emission of light not caused b incandescence and occurring at a temperature below that of incandescent bodies.
Mellifluous Sweet sounding.
Moiety One of two equal parts.
Mondegreen A slip of the ear.
Murmurous Murmuring.
Nefarious Villainous, iniquitous.
Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy.
Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore.
Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning.
Opulent Lush, luxuriant.
Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones.
Panacea A solution for all problems
Panoply A complete set.
Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources.
Penumbra A half-shadow.
Petrichor The smell of earth after rain.
Plethora A large quantity.
Precocious Advanced or mature in development.
Propinquity An inclination.
Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses.
Quintessential Most essential.
Quixotic Foolishly impractical, especially in pursuit of ideals.
Ratatouille A spicy French stew.
Ravel To knit or unknit.
Redolent Fragrant.
Riparian By the bank of a stream.
Ripple A very small wave.
Scintilla A spark or very small thing.
Sempiternal Eternal.
Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem.
Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else.
Sonder To test the depth of something.
Sonorous Capable of giving out a deep, resonant sound, as a thing or place.
Somnambulist Sleepwalker.
Sovereign Superior, ruler, master.
Summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny.
Sumptuous Lush, luxurious.
Superfluous Beyond what is needed.
Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky.
Susquehanna A river in Pennsylvania.
Susurrus Whispering, hissing.
Sycamore An American plane tree.
Synecdoche A figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole, or vice versa.
Talisman A good luck charm.
Tintinnabulation Tinkling.
Turpitude Depravity, wickedness.
Umbrella Protection from sun or rain.
Untoward Unseemly, inappropriate.
Vellichor The strange wistfulness of used book stores.
Verisimilitude Appearance of being true or real.
Vestigial In trace amounts.
Wafture The act of wafting.
Wherewithal The means.
Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.

30 Fabulous Words to Describe Someone’s Voice

30 Fabulous Words to Describe Someone’s Voice

Breathy With loud breathing noises
Brittle About to cry
Dead Showing no emotion
Appealing Speaker wants help, agreement, or approval
Gravelly Low and rough
Gruff Low and rough and a bit savage
Fruity Deep and strong in a pleasant way
Croaky Low voice that sounds like the speaker had a sore throat
Disembodied Speaker is not visible
Honeyed Sounds nice, don’t trust them
Hoarse Speaker sounds like he’s losing his voice
Guttural Deep and in the back of the throat
Husky Deep, hoarse, yet attractive
Monotonous Boring and unpleasant
Nasal Sounds like they’re speaking through the nose
Penetrating High or Loud- makes listener uncomfortable
Raucous Loud and rough
Silvery Clear, light, and pleasant
Rough Unpleasant and not soft
Shrill Loud, high, unpleasant
Grating Unpleasant and annoying
Smoky Sexy and mysterious
Taut Nervous or angry
Singsong Like musical notes
Plummy High Class British speaker, word shows dislike
Throaty Low, deep in the throat
Tight Nervous and annoyed
Tremulous Shaky, nervous
Wobbly Up and down, possibly scared or going to cry
Wheezy Speaks but sounds like hard to breathe

Words Ending in “LY” That Aren’t Adverbs

Words Ending in “LY” That Aren’t Adverbs

Nouns:

Ally Alley Anomaly Assembly Belly Bully Doily Dolly Family Gully Holly Jelly Lily Monopoly Panoply Rally Sally Underbelly

The Flies:

Butterfly Dragonfly Firefly Gadfly Mayfly Horsefly Blowfly Barfly

Verbs:

Apply Bully Comply Dally Imply Multiply Ply Rally Rely Reply Supply Tally

Adjectives

Annually Silly Bubbly Burly Chilly Comely Costly Courtly Cuddly Curtly Daily Dastardly Deadly Disorderly Early Friendly Frilly Ghastly Goodly Gravelly Grisly Heavenly Hilly Holy Homely Hourly Jolly Kindly Likely Lively Lovely Lonely Lowly Mannerly Measly Melancholy Oily Only Orderly Pearly Pebbly Leisurely Scaly Shapely Sickly Sly Smelly Spritely Squiggly Stately Surly Timely Ugly Weekly Wily Whirly Wobbly Wooly Worldly Wrinkly Yearly

100 Words Similar to Said

*Roughly* 100 Words Similar to Said

Acknowledged, added, admitted, admonished, affected, agreed, allowed, amplified, announced, answered, apologized, articulated, asked, assured, avowed, backpedaled, barked, began, begged, bellowed, blathered, bleated, boasted, burst out, cackled, cajoled, calculated, called out, chanted, chastised, chattered, cheered, chimed in, chirped, choked out, chuckled, clarified, coaxed, commanded, commented, complained, complemented, concluded, concurred, confided, confirmed, contemplated, contended, continued, conversed, conveyed, corrected, cooed, cursed, claimed, declared, denied, demanded, dictated, digressed, disagreed, disclosed, echoed, elucidated, embellished, emphasized, emoted, ended, enlightened, enunciated, eluded, exclaimed, explained, exaggerated, expounded, expressed, exuded, exulted, fabricated, fibbed, finished, fired back, flattered, flirted, flung, foreshadowed, forewarned, formulated, fumed, gasped, giggled, gloated, goaded, grated, growled, grunted, guessed, gushed, harangued, hissed, howled, hollered, huffed, hurled back, insisted, insulted, importuned, implied, informed, injected, inquired, interrupted, intoned, interrogated, interpreted, interrupted, joked, jumped in, justified, kidded, laughed, lectured, lied, mentioned, mocked, mumbled, murmured, muttered, nagged, narrated, nted, noticed, objected, offered, opined, ordered, opined, outlined, paraphrased, placated, pointed out, pondered, pontificated, pouted, praised, predicted, preened, presented, proclaimed, proffered, presented, projected, promised, pronounced, proposed, provided, purred, pursued, put forth, queried, questioned, quipped, quoted, raged, rambled, rationalized, raved, read, recalled, recounted, reiterated, repeated, related, remarked, replied, reported, restated, responded, retorted, reviewed, rhymed, ribbed, riddled, riposted, rolled onward, rumbled, sang, scolded, screamed, screeched, shared, sighed, shouted, simpered, simplified, snapped, sneered, sniffled, sniped, snitched, snorted, sobbed, scolded, soothed, snapped, spewed, spoke, sputtered, squacked, squeaked, stammered,started, stated, stressed, stuttered, submitted, suggested, supplied, swore, taunted, teased, temporized, threatened, thought, thundered, toasted, told, translated, trumpeted, twittered, uttered, vented, verbalized, verified, vocalized, volunteered, vowed, warbled, warned, wept, wheedled, wheezed, whimpered, whined, whispered, wondered, yapped, yawned, yelled, yelped, zinged.

60 Words We Frequently Confuse

stationary

stationery

Fixed in a spot

Materials, such as paper

affect

effect

To act upon or make a difference to

The result of an action

whether

weather

Expressing a choice between alternatives

The state of the atmosphere at a place and time

everyday

every day

Encountered routinely

The set time at which something occurs or is encountered

minor

miner

Inferior in importance or degree

One who digs in the ground

pedal

peddle

A foot lever by which a mechanism is activated

To travel with wares for sale

navel

naval

Bellybutton

Pertaining to ships or shipping

accept

except

To willingly receive

To omit or exclude

farther

further

Used to describe a measurable distance

Used to describe a broad generalized comparison

figuratively

literally

Metaphorically

This actually happened

few

less

Describes countable nouns

Describes uncounted nouns

may

might

Expresses permission

Implies possibility over permission

capitol

capital

A specific building where government officials meet

Wealth; or the most important city in a region

lightning

lightening

Flashes of electricity during a storm

To light up

complement

compliment

A thing that completes another thing

To communicate admiration

illusion

allusion

A mistaken belief

A reference

flaunt

flout

To show off

To communicate a dislike for someone or something

emigrate

immigrate

Leaving a place

Coming to a place

flare

flair

A sudden blaze of fire

Style, skill, talent

inflammable

flammable

Easily caught on fire

Easily caught on fire

ordinance

ordnance

A rule or law

Military artillery

spade

spayed

A tool for digging

Remove the ovaries of an animal

wither

whither

To fade away; shrivel

To what place? Where?

insight

incite

Capacity for gaining understanding

To stir up or encourage

allude

elude

To refer to casually or indirectly

To avoid or escape through cleverness

historic

historical

Famous or important in history

Having the character of history

counsel

council

Advice

Assembly

eminent

imminent

High in rank or importance

Likely to occur at any moment

click

clique

A sharp and short sound

A small group of people with shared interests

prostrate

prostate

To lie face down on the ground in submission or humility

Of or pertaining to the prostate gland

20 Misused Words

20 Misused Words (or “Susan and Tom Have a Very Bad Week”)

1. Irregardless– This is not a word, irregardless of what you’ve been told all your life.

2. Peruse– This means to review something in depth, although most people believe it means to skim an item quickly. Susan perused the tomb, certain that she’d find the answer to her strange dreams here.

3. Bemused– This means to be confused about a thing, not to be amused by a thing. When Tom kissed Susan passionately and told her he never wanted to see her again, Susan couldn’t help but be bemused.

4. Conversate– This is not a real word, so please don’t conversate with it.

5. Enormity– This means extremely evil. It does not mean “huge”. Only after Tom saw the death and mayhem his hasty act had brought about did he feel the enormity of his actions.

6. Compelled– Some people use this to mean “to willingly do a thing”. However, this word means “to be forced to do something”. The vampire compelled Susan to fall into his embrace against her wishes. Forgive me, Tom, Susan thought.

7. Redundant– This does not mean repeated. This means it is superfluous and can be cut out. The vampire Lefevre promised Tom that if he walked away from Susan, Lefevre wouldn’t harm her. Tom walked away. Tom walked away quickly. Tom walked a bit too quickly, come to think of it. Sort of more like a gallop than a walk; maybe Tom raced away. No, no, on second thought it was more like a saunter but with the rock in his shoe it just looked a bit faster. These last five sentences are redundant.

8. Nauseous– I don’t feel sick. If I’m nauseous, I’m making you feel sick. The fresh corpses of exsanguinated vampire victims were nauseous to all in their vicinity.

9. Refute– Many people think this merely means “rebuttal”, but it means to disprove with evidence. Indeed, the defense attorney refuted the prosecution’s case by having the defendant try on the glove to prove it was three sizes too small. Clearly, the milkman did not exsanguinate anyone.

10. Data– Did you know a single piece of information is a ‘datum’, while plural or multiple pieces are ‘data’? Tom knew just one datum: Tom was mad about Susan. Scratch that. He knew two data: Tom was mad about Susan, and Tom hated vampires.

11. Cliché– This is a noun. It is not an adjective. The adjective is “cliched”. Tom used the best cliché he could muster to tell Susan he needed her. “You’re so cliched!” She replied.

12. Disinterested– This word means “unbiased”. It does not mean not interested. Judge Forbes was disinterested regarding the fact that Lefevre was a vampire. What he needed to know was if Susan willingly said, “I do”.

13. Hone– Hone means “to sharpen”. It does not mean “to home in”. Tom honed his tracking skills so he could find Susan despite the vampire’s supernatural veiling technique.

14. Nonplussed– This means “stunned”. It doesn’t mean “unimpressed”. The courtroom was nonplussed when the vampire burst into flames as he took the oath on the stand.

15. Hung– This word means “suspended”, not “suspended from the neck until dead”. “Well,” Judge Forbes remarked, “at least now the sentence is hung. Otherwise, that vampire would’ve hanged for what he did to Susan.”

16. Beg the Question– When a statement ‘begs the question’ it assumes the truth of what it is proving. “I would say Count Lefevre is a bloodthirsty nocturnal marauder, but as he was a vampire, that’s begging the question.”

17. Enervate– This means to weaken, not to energize. As Lefevre’s secret vampire love child Maurice began draining Susan’s blood in an act of revenge, Maurice enervated Susan.

18. Fortuitous– This word means ‘unplanned’; it does not mean ‘lucky’. The scoundrel with a weak spot for damsels in distress happened upon Maurice and Susan quite fortuitously.

19. Intern– Intern means ‘imprison’, not ‘bury’. After saving Susan and returning her to Tom, the scoundrel alerted the police, who interned Maurice.

20. Ironic– Something is ironic if it contrary to what you’d expect. It’s not at all like rain on your wedding day. Although superstitious Susan believed her marriage to Tom would be doomed as it had rained on her wedding day, their marriage ironically turned out to be a glorious example of wedded bliss. Well, after a few normal marital problems.

Vampireman