I'm playing with one of my many side projects at the moment and in this one my MC is a soldier. Going through and editing I've managed to make most of it sufficiently gritty and soldier-y but I'm really struggling with the one sentence. Presently I have, "It lacked the pallor of death," but that seems a; a bit too tell and not enough show, and b; a bit too educated. I keep coming up with less tell, more show, but more education. I'm trying to describe a hand sticking out of the rubble as my MC assists in the cleanup and rescue efforts after the enemy has attacked. In context of the passage, it sticks out like a sore thumb: ****WARNING, LANGUAGE**** Spoiler He sighed and went back to digging, shoving his crowbar in as deep as he damn well could. Same old fucking story. Planet to goddamned planet, it never changed. With a grunt of effort, Gunny Grisham levered another slab off the pile. There was a hand under it. Attached to an arm. Didn’t look as crushed as the others he’d seen. It lacked the pallor of death. Alive? Maybe. Probably not. He reached down, cautious, hopeful despite himself. Warm - it was fucking warm. It clawed at his glove. Grish spat a string of curses and yanked his hand back. Holy shit-on-a-stick, that was a person. Not another corpse, but a person. First damn sign of hope he’d seen on eight planets. He straightened. “Oi, Sarge, we got a live one over here!” This is close 3P, sci-fi/futuristic warfare. I initially had my favourite curse in there but sadly had to delete it in the editing because it just doesn't fit with the scene. Also, his name is just a working filler, I have a John Grisham novel on my writing desk at present and it was as such the first thing I could think of. I'm horrible at names.