Friday, November 22nd, 2013

Writing Prompt – Expressions

dreamstimefree_174300-eI’m sitting in the doctor’s office as I type this.

When I walked in, there were only there were only three people in the office. And now, forty minutes later…I’m still sitting in the waiting room, and there’s not a seat to be had.

Seriously. Standing room only.

The funny part: the expression on each newcomer’s face when they walk through the door. Most people are surprised at first. Then comes annoyance. There are quite a few angry faces, too.

(I’m thinking of Mrs. Potato Head in Toy Story right now, where she packs Mr. Potato Head’s angry eyes, just in case he needs them.)

Me?

I’m laughing. If I’d been one of the entrants facing a backed up schedule and nowhere to sit, I’d probably be sporting my angry eyes and a tight-lipped frowny face, too. Instead, I’ve been joking with the seated folks sitting close to me.

We’re watching it all unfold and waiting for an explosion. That should be fun.

Here’s Your Prompt:

  • Write an angry scene. Pay attention to the expressions on your character’s faces, as well as dialogue or actions. Stay away from cliches (a mouth that’s simply a slash, eyes that flash, etc).
     
  • Write a happy scene. As above, pay attention to expressions, not just dialogue and body language. Avoid sparkling eyes, wide or curved mouths and white teeth.
     
  • For practice, set aside some time to describe the faces of the characters in your manuscript. (If you write memoir or are writing a family history, pick the faces of people you know). Now picture these people angry or happy (or some other emotion). Take time to describe not just eyes and mouth, but brow and chin. Wrinkles. Scars. Moles and warts.
     
  • Write a poem about a person who is angry or happy (or, you decide what emotion), but don’t use facial expressions to convey the emotion.
     
  • Write an essay about a time you were extraordinarily angry or upset. Write about your facial expressions…from the inside. Were your eyes hot and stinging? Was your brow so furrowed the muscles were tight? Remember, too, how your expression felt when the situation was resolved. Write down those feelings, too.
     
  • As above, but use the “inner feelings” of your expressions in your manuscript for your point of view character.
     

Good Luck!

 

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Image Copyright © Dawn Hudson | Dreamstime Stock Photos.

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