Gestures, movements, and facial expressions

Gestures and facial expressions are a thorny topic. I tend to re-use the same gestures too frequently in my writing.

So, I’m trying to mix it up. My goal was to come up with a list that I could refer to when I needed a gesture or facial expression.

This is inspired by Bryn Donovan’s master lists for writers and the daily prompt Chuckle

Face

  • yawned
  • smelled
  • sniffed
  • sniffled
  • creases on her forehead deepened
  • furrowed her brows
  • wrinkles formed between her eyes
  • face became brighter and warmer
  • kissed
  • mouth twisted a bit
  • raised her eyebrows
  • raised an eyebrow
  • cocked an eyebrow
  • squealed
  • wondered
  • whispered
  • huffed
  • expression fell
  • expression grew sullen
  • expression hardened
  • expression grew flat
  • nodded
  • smiled a saccharine smile
  • chuckled
  • laughed
  • smiled
  • grinned
  • guffawed
  • cackled
  • burst into laughter
  • exploded with laughter
  • frowned
  • gasped
  • let out a deep breath
  • breathed deeply
  • sighed
  • exhaled sharply
  • inhaled sharply
  • grit her teeth
  • pursed her lips
  • bit her lip
  • bit her tongue
  • cringed
  • swallowed
  • drank
  • took a swig
  • smoked
  • took a drag of her cigarette
  • clenched her jaw
  • bit her thumbnail
  • bit her nails
  • wrinkled her nose
  • scrunched her nose
  • sneered
  • smirked
  • grimaced

Eyes/gaze

  • gaze followed the tiles of the dirty floor
  • gaze tracked
  • gave a look
  • looked down at her feet
  • looked at him
  • looked out the window
    • I try to avoid using look/looked/looking very often
  • narrowed her eyes
  • squinted
  • noticed
  • glared
  • stared
  • peered
  • watched
  • ogled
  • glanced down at her hands
  • glanced sidelong
  • glanced back
  • surveyed
  • inspected
  • took her in
  • with tears in her eyes
  • eyes welled up
  • eyes glistened with the beginning of tears
  • focused on her feet

Body

  • clenched her muscles
  • shivered
  • crouched
  • knelt
  • plopped down
  • hunched
  • her shoulders fell
  • slowly moved to a sitting position
  • stood up
  • sat intently reading
  • sat down
  • jumped up and down
  • ran into her bedroom
  • sank into her seat
  • sweated
  • shook
  • quivered
  • hugged
  • woke up mid-sentence
  • shrugged it off
  • shrugged
  • paced around
  • tapped her foot
  • bounced her knee
  • crossed her legs
  • folded her legs
  • crossed her arms
  • folded her arms
  • stood back
  • stood up
  • straightened up
  • tensed
  • a knot formed in her back
  • shuffled
  • ambled
  • slowly made her way
  • walked
  • trotted
  • pranced
  • traipsed
  • perambulated

Hands

  • shook his hand
  • tapped the side of her nose
  • rubbed her temples
  • pushed her bangs away from her eyes
  • pushed her fingers through abundant curls
  • pushed her braid behind her shoulders
  • adjusted her braids
  • twisted a lock of hair around her finger
  • let her hair unfurl
  • twisted a ring around her finger
  • held up her hand
  • splayed her fingers
  • splayed her legs
  • put her hand on her stomach
  • drew the sharpest weapon she had
  • bounced her fists
  • formed a fist
  • interlaced her fingers
  • grabbed his hand
  • pointed
  • released his hand
  • made the motion of waves with her hands
  • touched his face
  • flipped through a book
  • shuffled the deck
  • examined her fingernails
  • reached out
  • hands turned with palms towards her
  • put his hand on her shoulder
  • twirled the pen
  • clicked the pen
  • high-fived
  • scratched her droopy cheeks
  • clutched a bottle
  • put on gloves
  • took off gloves
  • rubbed her forehead
  • rubbed the nape of her neck
  • rubbed her eyes
  • rubbed the back of her neck
  • fiddled with her hands
  • squeezed her hand
  • squeezed her shoulder
  • clasped her hands
  • clapped
  • picked it up
  • put it down
  • grabbed her hand
  • plucked an eyebrow
  • pulled a thread
  • pulled a cuticle
  • punched a pillow
  • drummed her fingers
  • squeezed the spot between her thumb and forefinger
  • put her hands on her hips
  • rested her hand on her hip

Do you have any others to add to the list?

Color lists for writers

My novel features an artist. As such there are many descriptions of colors, paintings, and art. Here is my multi-purpose list of colors, gleaned from HTML color names, stones/jewels, flowers, foods, and pigments/paints.

Basic colors:

  • black
  • blue
  • brown
  • gray
  • green
  • orange
  • pink
  • purple
  • red
  • white
  • yellow

Shades of black:

  • dark of the moon
  • charcoal
  • coal black
  • ebony
  • graphite
  • gunmetal
  • mars black
  • obsidian
  • smoke
  • slate gray
  • steel

Shades of blue/purple:

  • aubergine
  • amethyst
  • azure
  • baby blue
  • cerulean
  • cobalt
  • coral
  • cornflower blue
  • cyan
  • blue topaz
  • denim
  • eggplant
  • hyacynth
  • indigo
  • jade
  • lapis lazuli
  • lavendar
  • midnight blue
  • navy blue
  • palatinate blue
  • peacock blue
  • periwinkle
  • plum
  • powder blue
  • pthalo blue
  • robin’s egg blue
  • royal blue
  • sapphire
  • sky blue
  • slate blue
  • steel blue
  • ultramarine
  • violet

Shades of brown:

  • almond
  • amber
  • beige
  • bourbon
  • burnt sienna
  • burnt umber
  • chestnut
  • chocolate
  • cocoa
  • coffee
  • cognac
  • copper
  • dirty
  • eggshell
  • flesh
  • hazel
  • hazelnut
  • leather
  • mink
  • oatmeal
  • raw sienna
  • russet
  • sandy
  • tan
  • taupe
  • tawny
  • tea
  • walnut
  • whiskey

Shades of green:

  • aqua
  • aquamarine
  • army green
  • beryl
  • chartreuse
  • emerald
  • forest green
  • grass green
  • jade
  • lime
  • olive
  • patina
  • pear
  • teal
  • turquoise

Shades of pink:

  • amarinth
  • cerise
  • hot pink
  • fuchsia
  • peach
  • magenta
  • mauve
  • orchid
  • rose

Shades of red:

  • apple
  • alizarin crimson
  • blood red
  • brick red
  • burgundy
  • cadmium red
  • crimson
  • fire engine red
  • maroon
  • rouge
  • ruby
  • rust
  • scarlet
  • vermillion

Shades of white:

  • alabaster
  • cream
  • diamond
  • fingernail
  • ivory
  • lace
  • milk
  • pearl
  • silver
  • titanium
  • tooth
  • whites of the eye

Shades of yellow:

  • antimony
  • cadmium
  • champagne
  • cornsilk
  • gold
  • goldenrod
  • lemon
  • tooth yellow

Color modifiers:

  • cloudy
  • hazy
  • milky
  • neon
  • opaque
  • stained glass
  • translucent
  • transparent

In response to daily prompt Opaque.