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  1. laramsche

    laramsche Member

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    Synonyms for tiptoeing...

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by laramsche, Sep 1, 2019.

    ...well, I am new here and need a little help/inspiration. I am also quite shy of sharing much detail about my current project, which is why I will share only the most necessary context.

    Now, the setting is science fiction with a good chunk of erotic/sex, to put it mildly. Exotic, and even somewhat extreme, fashion is a common occurrence. One character (she), is supposed to appear wearing ballet-boots/heels (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballet_boot), walking with very small steps, like ballet dancers do often times while performing. Or like a Geisha, I guess?

    Maybe it also helps to know, that her general movements (hand gestures, head turns, etc.) are somewhat robotic, in a stop-and-go manner, often freezing in poses, or single limbs move while the rest remains motionless. Describing her as a creepy doll-girl certainly fits for some scenes I have in my mind.

    Yet, I struggle really hard, to find a fitting synonym to describe her walking style with a single word, that can be used in sentences like: She [???] into the room... All the synonyms from relevant sites don't fit, don't express what I imagine, don't catch the clickclickclickclick sound in my ears.

    So, I am open for suggestions, and thanks for replying.
     
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  2. Oscar Leigh

    Oscar Leigh Contributor Contributor

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    You could just describe that:
    Sometimes what has the most effect in a story, especially if something is very emotional, personal or in some way odd, is not to describe as if you know how. Not to use some neat single word. But to describe that experience. Just describe what it is you mean. That may capture it more accurately, more powerfully and be more interesting to read that trying to find a shortcut word.
    This sounds like it *might* be one of those times. Try to describe what's in your head and see if you can write something that sounds good and isn't too long or awkward.
    Words I might use for this though: jittering, halting motion, stroll, prance?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2019
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  3. Tralala

    Tralala Active Member

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    Tip-tapped?
     
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  4. Hammer

    Hammer Contributor Contributor

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    Describe it -- She strode haltingly into the room like a legato metronome

    or make something up? She tick-tocked into the room like a child's toy with a broken spring...
     
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  5. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin Get off my Balzac... Staff Contributor

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    How can a metronome be legato? If it slurred its notes it wouldn't be a metronome.
     
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  6. Tralala

    Tralala Active Member

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    Teetering?
     
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  7. OurJud

    OurJud Contributor Contributor

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  8. laramsche

    laramsche Member

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    First, sorry for posting in the wrong section and thanks for moving. I'll pay more attention next time.

    A great advice and your completely right. However, my intention is rather to remind the reader every now and then, sparingly, of her odd walking after she was introduced. She has become a major character and will appear more then once, so I would like to keep additional descriptions short.

    Reminds me more of tap dance... and tip makes me imagine her tipping over and planting her face on the floor. Hilarious as hell, but to deep into slapstick comedy.

    I associate strode always with long legs, wide steps, or someone walking in (normal) high heels. I am very unsure if it fits to someone walking with tiny steps. Describing her like a child's toy with a broken spring could fit perfectly when she suffered an injury (which might happen...), but otherwise her movements (along with her manners and behavior) are very controlled, you could even say pretentious. Let alone walking in ballet-heels requires intense body control, even more so when wearing them like ordinary footwear (to clarify, she possesses certain body modifications/implants/cyberware/technobabble to make it possible...)
    Making up things should be avoided as much as possible, in my opinion. There is no guarantee it will give the reader the picture the writer intents. In the case of she tick-tocked , I kinda imagine someone wiggling/swinging left and right, like the needle of a metronome.

    - Here a quick test, what do you guys think?
    She moved on rigid legs, which stuttered back and forth, creating momentum with tiny steps on the tips of her toes. Keeping her upper body straight, hands at her stomach, and the elbows pointed outwards, she seemed more to ice skate through the crowd, rather then walking. A smile was on her face, expressing artificial kindness, as if it was carved on a dolls face. Even among the vast diversity of exotic and strange guests around her, she still managed to stick out in an eerie manner.
    With a sudden halt she stopped in front of the newly arrived guest, remaining motionless for a second. Her head stuttered sideways and a hand jerked out, freezing in an inviting gesture.
    "Welcome," A high pitched voice, more squeaky then annoying, left her porcelain like lips. "I am quite pleased you found the time to follow my invitation."
     
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  9. OrdinaryJoe

    OrdinaryJoe Active Member

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    A world that fits your description but is not used to often would be minced.

    Walk with an affected delicacy or fastidiousness, typically with short quick steps.
    "there were plenty of secretaries mincing about"
     
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  10. Tralala

    Tralala Active Member

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    Oh, I wish there was a lol button on this site.
     
  11. Tralala

    Tralala Active Member

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    "She moved on rigid legs, which stuttered back and forth, creating momentum with tiny steps on the tips of her toes."

    I like your passage. But, honestly, consider simplifying the way she moves. It hurts my head, trying to see it the way you've described here.

    I need a really easy image.

    Maybe a stiff ballerina?
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
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  12. Tralala

    Tralala Active Member

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    Now I want to lol myself.
     
  13. OrdinaryJoe

    OrdinaryJoe Active Member

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    Like I said minced is not used very often. It's much more identified with the fine chopping of foods.

    How about:

    She entered the room with the staccato gait of an atomaton.
     
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  14. laramsche

    laramsche Member

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    lol indeed. Imagining that she's wearing ballet-heels, I didn't thought of describing her like a stiff, or rather robotic, ballerina. For whatever reason, I was too much focused on a life sized doll...

    - Wearing ballet-heels she stands on the toes, her posture straight like a ballerina. - As she spots him, she approaches him with small, but quick steps on her clicking toes. - With clicking toes she enters the room. - Frantic clicking sounded as she rushed down the stairs, moving her legs like the needles of sewing machines. - Lost in thought, she minced on her toes to the window. - Tiptoeing slowly around him, she sized him up. - Tiptoeing next to him, she matched his pace with quick steps.

    Mh, still not a fan, but simplifying is usually a good idea. Her walking will just be tiptoeing, her general movements (gestures and such...) will be somewhat reminiscent of a robotic/mechanical ballerina doll.

    Well, you guys helped a lot, thanks for the input.
     
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  15. Tralala

    Tralala Active Member

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    It does sound really creepy :rolleyes:
     
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  16. laramsche

    laramsche Member

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    ...she's quite sociable too, her parties are quite popular :D
     
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  17. Tralala

    Tralala Active Member

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    I can imagine so :superwink:
     
  18. laramsche

    laramsche Member

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    I wasn't joking.

    She is a major character, heavily leaning towards villainy. Being her enemy is quite unpleasant, so everyone wants to be friends with her...
     
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  19. Tralala

    Tralala Active Member

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    Hello, nice ballerina-doll-bot:superfrown:
     
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