Colors, Textures and Shapes Entry: Bumpy

Turtle shell
Pebbly beach
Shrimp shells


Bubble wrap
Speed bumps
Dirt roads
Bath mat

Synonyms: bumpy, lumpy, knobby, uneven, rough, irregular, clumpy…

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, relatable, and within the scope of the narrator’s life knowledge and experience.

Textures are a powerful tool for pulling readers into the narrating character’s world, so don’t skimp.

Looking for ways to encourage that shared empathy bond between your readers and the hero? You’ll be happy to know that this thesaurus has been expanded by 60% (many new entries to explore!) and integrated into our online library at One Stop For Writers. With One Stop’s cross-referenced searchability, adding texture to your writing has never been easier, so if you’re interested in seeing a free sampling of the updated Texture Thesaurus and our other collections, head on over and register.


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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C.R. Evers
11 years ago

Great list! My current WIP has something to do w/ frogs. I may have to bookmark this list.


11 years ago

Great entry. I love how you have both natural and man-made things. Keep up the good work!

11 years ago

I don’t know how you think of some of these!

I would never have thought of raspberries, but they do have a really awesome bumpy feel (I was eating some the other day.).

Thanks girls!

Mary Witzl
11 years ago

You’ve done ‘bumpy’ proud here, but what I really appreciate is your pointing out that ‘showing’ can sometimes hijack a story and result in TMI instead of painting a vivid picture that charms and illuminates. I’ve been going over my own ms and finding far too many examples of that.

(Don’t forget avocados, by the way — knobbly, bumpy Haas as opposed to silky smooth Zutanos. And pilled sweaters and old fabric too.)

PJ Hoover
11 years ago

It’s all good, and I can never thank you gals enough!

Bish Denham
11 years ago

There are so many wonderful bumby, lumpy things and you chosen some really good ones. I’m going to add terry cloth and corduroy.