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  1. Dem

    Dem New Member

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    How does one describe...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Dem, Dec 23, 2012.

    ...an accusatory look? Like, I'm trying to have one character tell another one, non-verbally, to shut up, because what he says is counter productive. Preferably using a look or glance.

    So, anyone got an idea of how to go about this?
     
  2. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Just a glare is fine. Don't pile on the words. Nothing should be said. Maybe the head should be tilted. I'm not going to tell you how to write it, because that's the fun of writing, isn't it? Express the emotion without saying the words. And do that in words.
     
  3. captain kate

    captain kate Active Member

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    Something similar to this is probably what you're thinking of. Either one would work, one's perhaps a bit telling and the other a bit of showing. It'd depend on how you'd want to right the scene.


    Tom started to blather on. "You know there was that time..."
    She crossed her arms, and narrowed her eyes before giving him a look that killed. or She crossed her arms and narrowed her eyes before sighing.
    Tom looked at her, mouth open in mid-word, before he closed it and sat down.
     
  4. johann77

    johann77 Member

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    usually with a straight face. You have seen people make accusitaory statements, don't you remember what their facial expression was?
     
  5. Jon Deavers

    Jon Deavers New Member

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    I usually get an accusatory look from my wife via a frown and a single raised eyebrow.
     
  6. Daniel Cassidy

    Daniel Cassidy New Member

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    I usually get the eyes squinted at me, or is that angry? Well, when you're married, often times accusatory and angry are the same thing!
     
  7. tmrose

    tmrose New Member

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    Pursed lips. Clearing of the throat. Glare. Heavy silence. Squeeze of the hand. Pinch. It all depends on context.
     
  8. Em_Anders

    Em_Anders Member

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    That or the pursed lips/frown and lowered brows. My husband gets that one when I'm really furious.

    Accusatory facial expressions would vary, of course, from person to person. It isn't the same across the board. What does your own face look like when you're looking at someone with occular accusation? Take a look in the mirror, see what you come up with. If it isn't what you think your character would do, then do some visual research with friends or family. What do their faces do when giving their accusatory expression?
     
  9. Dem

    Dem New Member

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    Thanks for the advice, everybody. It's been very helpful!
     
  10. DefinitelyMaybe

    DefinitelyMaybe Contributor Contributor

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    Sounds like an opportunity to use a metaphor to me.
     
  11. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    a shake of the head
    a frown
    a wag of the forefinger
    a scolding/scalding word/sound

    why rely solely on a facial expression, when you have so many ways to show it?
     
  12. jazzabel

    jazzabel Contributor Contributor

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    Glare would be a perfect word for this I think.
     
  13. TheDoctor97

    TheDoctor97 New Member

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    I know that I tend to raise both my eyebrows, and make my mouth tight when I'm trying to get someone to be quiet. Normally at school. In awkward situations. Yeah.
     
  14. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Alive in the Superunknown

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    Eyebrows arched, chin lowered, direct gaze.
     
  15. Pythonforger

    Pythonforger Carrier of Insanity

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    "X looked at Y, who stopped talking immediately."

    The readers should get that X is giving Y an accusatory look from the context. If they can't, your problem is dialogue, not prose.
     
  16. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    "Glared" is a good verb. And, as Pythonforger pointed out, the reaction of the character receiving the look rounds out the action.
     
  17. Zico Cozier

    Zico Cozier Member

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    Here's a useful word that can help

    Tacit - Understood or implied without being stated.
    Tacitly - in a tacit manner
     
  18. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how can that help in re what the op is asking?
     
  19. Zico Cozier

    Zico Cozier Member

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    "one character tell another one, non-verbally"

    It's not obvious how the word tacit could contribute to the expression of this concept?
     
  20. captain kate

    captain kate Active Member

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    maia's right on this. There's plenty of words, actions or otherwise to get the point across. Sometimes folks are busy trying to re-invent the wheel here. Her advice is probably the best in this thread to be honest.
     
  21. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...no, it's not... because you don't seem to understand what 'tacit' or 'tacitly' means and/or how they can be used...

    tacitly doesn't refer to how one can express an emotion in written work... something is understood 'tacitly' without doing anything at all... as in 'tacit approval' which means it's understood that something can be done and no one has to say anything, or do anything to let others know it can...

    if you really think it can apply here, give us some examples of how you would do so...
     
  22. SuperVenom

    SuperVenom Senior Member

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    I would say it could be down to the reaction of the character. Noticing the look and knowing they had to be quiet. 'John chatted non stop about his new boat but noticing his wife's dissproving look stopped instantly. '

    Just an idea :)
     

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