Need Your Help: How Do You Describe Facial Expressions in Fiction?

So I recently posted about the importance of facial expressions for authors. Today, I received a comment about facial expressions in fiction. It was a good question: How do you do this effectively?

I’m curious about this, too, so I posted this question here. I know there are several great fiction writers out there, so I’m hoping some of you will share your ideas about this.

We can just say that the girl looked happy. But show is often preferred over tell, right? There are also other ways to show that she was happy (e.g. she was jumping up and down, waving her arms wildly, when she saw me get out of the bus), but suppose we wish to describe facial expressions (not necessarily happy ones). Who has some good advice for how to do this?

How about describing faces, period. I’ve read some books where a face was described as “angular,” for example. I didn’t have any idea what that meant, so I really had trouble visualizing the character. If you have suggestions for how to describe a face in clear terms that will aid in visualization, with or without facial expressions, please share your ideas.

Thank you.

The funny thing about this blog is that when I ask for comments, very often there aren’t any, but when I don’t, sometimes there are plenty. Perhaps today will be an exception to the rule. 🙂

Cre8ively Writ10

Looking 4 a different kind of cre8ive poem

2 read on a Friday night while stuck @ home?

Maybe this 1 will @tract your @10tion

or /haps it will only cause you frustr8ion!

This won’t suit every1, so feel free 2 write your own.

1 can only please a %age of the readers; others will groan.

12s will be gr8ful 4 the glossary they can find below.

After th@ is a quiz 4 those who don’t want the fun 2 go.


cre8ive(ly) = creative(ly)

writ10 = written

@tract = attract

@10tion = attention

/haps = perhaps

frustr8ion = frustration

every1 = everyone

%age = percentage

12s = dozens

gr8ful = grateful

th@ = that

Vocabulary Quiz:






Quiz Answers:






Chris McMullen, author of the fictional dialog, Why Do We Have to Go to School?