Bleeding Heart blooms
Galešnjak, a heart-shaped island in Croatia
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.
Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
I agree Marian–it really depends on the style of the book as to whether you can get away with it or not.
Mary, I have to admit, I do enjoy indulging in purple prose for educational purposes in these entries. Fun fun fun!
Mary Witzl says
Love that chicken breast face! No matter how purple my prose may have gotten, I don’t believe I’ve ever gone that far. I do remember reading an awful description of a woman’s legs once, with far too many words in it.
(Marian, I remember Melanie’s heart-shaped face too!)
“I should also add that ‘heart-shaped’ skirts overused territory, so consider carefully when using it.”
That’s a good point. The first time I read about a character with a heart-shaped face, it was Melanie in Gone with the Wind, and I loved the description. But that suited the style of the book (which was written how many decades ago?) and her personality.
These days, it’s less likely to work for me.