Ordinary writers describe the body in order to evoke images in readers’ minds. Extraordinary writers leverage it to add elements such as tension, intrigue, and humor.
The Writer’s Body Lexicon provides tools for both approaches.
Kathy Steinemann provides a boggling number of word choices and phrases for body parts, organized under similar sections in most chapters:
•Emotion Beats and Physical Manifestations
•Similes and Metaphors
•Colors and Variegations
•Verbs and Phrasal Verbs
•Clichés and Idioms
Sprinkled throughout, you’ll also find hundreds of story ideas. They pop up in similes, metaphors, word lists, and other nooks and crannies.
Readers don’t want every character to be a cardboard cutout with a perfect physique. They prefer real bodies with imperfections that drive character actions and reactions — bodies with believable skin, scents, and colors.
For instance, a well-dressed CEO whose infrequent smile exposes poorly maintained teeth might be on the verge of bankruptcy. A gorgeous cougar with decaying teeth, who tells her young admirer she’s rich, could spook her prey. Someone trying to hide a cigarette habit from a spouse might be foiled by nicotine stains.
Add depth to your writing. Rather than just describe the body, exploit it. Build on it. Mold it until it becomes an integral part of your narrative.
“… a timeless resource: You’ll find advice, prompts, ideas, vocabulary, humor, and everything in between. But more importantly, it will make your characters stand out from the crowd.” — Nada Sobhi