Colors, Textures and Shapes Entry: Barbed and Spined


Beaks (owl, eagle, falcon)
Thorns (raspberry bush, rose bush, blackberries bush, brambles)
Cockle burr…


Barbed wire fences (ranches, farms, prisons, mine fields, government areas)
Decorative knives/swords
Wrought iron fences
Weather vanes
Fish hook…

Synonyms: spur, nub, quill, needled, bristle, thorny, horned, spike…

Describing a shape is best done in as few words as possible. Think of the shape as a camera snap shot–you want to capture the gist of what you mean as soon as possible so you can get on with other related (and more important) detail, and the action happening in the scene

Accurate shape comparisons will streamline your prose, allowing you to describe an object quickly so the reader’s focus stays on the action and events of each scene.

Want access to a plethora of real-world comparisons for specific shapes so you can spend your description currency on what matters most? We have you covered. This thesaurus has been expanded by 50% and integrated into our online library at One Stop For Writers. There, you’ll find an intuitive list of ideas to choose from, cross-referenced for easy searchability. To view a free sample of this descriptive thesaurus and others, head on over and register at One Stop.


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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11 years ago

Actually, it seems like we missed an Anxious post. We’ll discuss and may follow up with that at some point. Thanks for the suggestion :).

11 years ago

The first example made me think of someone who must really like knives and it made me uncomfortable!

The second one was more like a story which makes sense, unless, of course, you really like knives.

Great tool for building as always.

A Mom's Choice
11 years ago

Thanks for sharing your sensory stimulation for all to enjoy. When I worked with Alzheimer patients I had to come up with different sense activties to stimulate them. Now, I’m working on a book and I’m finding it so difficult to share the 5 senses. Do you have a sensory post for anxiety? Funny thing is I had started my own listings for things like clothing etc and began an emotion part as well. It’s mind boggling.

11 years ago

The second one is WAY more precise. Whoa.

11 years ago

It’s so cool how you do this. Must be great for the creative juices. 🙂