Facial Expression/Emotion: Disgust. 15 Common Facial Expressions and Their Meanings Confusion. Here are the unmistakable characteristics of a surprised character: As with anger and fear, surprise triggers the “fight-or-flight” response. They will take up space and command attention with the way they move. Agonized: as if in pain or tormented 3. Charles Darwin noted in his book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals: 1. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'allwritealright_com-medrectangle-3','ezslot_8',107,'0','0'])); So what does this mean for you? When a character is truly heartbroken, their expression may change to be more numb: their mouth may hang open loosely, their eyes may remain closed, and the rest of their body may become limp and heavy. Posts about describing facial expressions written by dcomeaux. It is associated with a sense of superiority and apathy. For example: “His face relaxed, but I could still see the faint outline of wrinkles around his eyes—eyes which seemed to sparkle ever so slightly despite the dullness of the room. Ekman ran a social experiment in the late 20th century with the intention of proving Darwin wrong, but he accidentally ended up proving this theory to be correct. For example: She stumbles back, her hands clutching the front of her delicate blouse. When someone gets angry, it usually triggers their body to produce adrenaline (the “fight-or-flight” hormone), which can come with a host of bodily side-effects that can give the anger away. However, it feels so much more authentic to a reader if they can figure out how a character is feeling based on the descriptions you give about their facial features. When it comes to telling stories, sometimes it's important to describe someone's emotions very precisely. Join the popular membership section! Daily English 357 - Describing Facial Expressions. If a character is angry, they are going to move deliberately and with confidence. Contempt is an interesting emotion, but it is one that is often overlooked. Microexpressions can also be a good way of indicating that a character is lying. Here are some of the signs that a character is actually happy: Now, a character doesn’t have to have all of those elements in their expression if they are feeling good. The look on a person's face is often the first thing we see, even before we hear what they have to say. Here are some examples: Remember that the choices you make when describing a character’s expressions can also indicate personality traits, trustworthiness, and likeability. Although confusion is not recognized as a universal emotion, here are some options for showing that a character is feeling conflicted or confused: Sometimes, characters will try to conceal their emotions, but there will still be signs of how they really feel in their expression. Trad. My goal with this website isn't to make you the greatest writer in the world. Emotions are expressed innately, and the faces people make when experiencing different emotions are based on natural instinct. Dialogue; Complete Transcript; “It’s my pet.” I respond, making her wrinkle her nose. Another way to distinguish the two is with the character’s body language. However, the context of the situation is usually enough to tip the readers off to which emotion the character is feeling. Lips are typically pursed together as well, although the expression of confusion tends to be most accentuated around the eyes and nose. Understanding the characteristics of each expression is the first step towards knowing how to properly describe them in your own writing. This post may contain affiliate links. Sometimes it's good to try these expressions out in the mirror and note down things.Tone and content of dialogue should be complemented by expressions, so I try to keep facial expression … Pay attention to the actors’ faces when you are watching a movie or show, and try to take note of the little changes in their expressions. A smile can mean many things, and it can even foreshadow a character’s hidden traits. A character trying to mask happiness may squint their eyes, then adopt a stoic expression. Try to sort through the emotions your character is feeling in order to figure out how to describe their expression. Even the corners of his mouth seemed to fight against his normally stoic expression, betraying how he really felt.”. To describe someone’s appearance, you will often use adjectives. Facial Expressions . Quaderns. Recreate it in a mirror, or record yourself with your cell phone, and use that as a guide. Crying usually isn’t a pretty sight, so don’t be afraid to show that the character’s face is red or that their nose is running. Specifically, what someone is doing with their EYES and EYEBROWS! However, it’s not always easy to know how to approach describing facial expressions. Tears distort vision, so if you’re writing in the first person, don’t forget that your character’s vision will be blurry. Anger affects the entire face, so there are many options for writing about how the different features change. They are closely associated with our emotions. Let’s look at different ways of looking happy, sad and confused, plus other facial expressions with your mouth, eyes, nose and your whole face. When two or more emotions are fighting for dominance, and a character cannot decide how to feel, their expression can become confused. If you'd like to learn more about me, take a look at my "About Me" page! Rev. Want to get this lesson and 1800+ more like it? Though not a facial expression, notice how he brandishes his fingernails as if they were claws. Surprise functions differently from the other universal emotions. This expression, the researchers suggested, conveys both friendliness and confidence. There is usually a dominant emotion that will define the majority of the expression, but elements of other expressions would creep in. In the mid-20th century most anthropologists believed tha… First try conveying emotions indirectly or through dialogue, but if you must fall back on a descriptive term, try for precision: 1. Here are some examples: A character trying to mask anger may draw their lips in tightly, then smile. Get two FREE sample lessons here and see what Select English is all about. Disgust is an emotion that is often associated with things that are unsanitary, inedible, infectious, or offending. #3 - He looked puzzled. How do you feel? As the facial expressions are often shown in (short) close-ups, time to describe them is very limited and concise description is a must. Log in here. About the author . These sides effects include things like:eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'allwritealright_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_4',108,'0','0'])); There’s a lot more to anger than the expression. While it’s true that the wrinkled nose is a key characteristic of the expression, so much more goes into making it complete. Words used to describe facial expressions, To show, or to be expressed in the face or eyes. How a character’s eyes, eyebrows, nose, forehead, mouth, and chin move in unison can let a reader in on their emotions. Another character may have surprise as their dominant emotion, but scowl in anger. Describing facial expression. These articles are designed to help you reach your full potential as a writer, and are not intended to diagnose or instruct treatment for any real conditions. Alluring: attractive, in the sense of arousing desire 4. The content provided in these posts is for informational purposes only. Check out the Privacy Policy for more information. 07-03-2009, 09:31 PM. As with other emotions, body language plays a part in this, but don’t write it the same way as everyone else. Join Macmillan Dictionary on Twitter and Facebook for daily word facts, quizzes and language news. Happiness is characterized by a facial expression that causes someone to raise the corners of their mouth upwards. Well, since you made it to this article, you probably aren’t like other writers. Depression Tears Inappropriate laughter Lack of eye contact Infrequent blinking Red or moist eyes Vacant stare Downturned lips Slack expression Dark circles under the eyes Head tilted downward. I try to think of inventive ways of describing the same sort of facial expression by thinking about what I do or how my friends look. 3  Is the character amused, nervous, or happy? . Surprise. Fear is another difficult emotion, because there are many different degrees and types of fear a character can feel. Microexpressions are tiny glimpses of the true emotion that a person feels, quickly followed by a false expression to mask that emotion. A character can have a facial tic when they get nervous. How to Describe Facial Expressions in Writing, Some Tips for Describing Facial Expressions, Tricks for Describing a Character’s Appearance (With Examples), Writing the First Page of a Story: Tips to Make it Perfect, How to Write a Creepy Character Realistically, Horror Story Writing Prompts: Chilling Ideas for Your Next Creepy Story, Describe Crying in Writing—Without the Clichés, Dialogue Writing Prompts to Spark Your Next Story, Their eyebrows would be lowered and pulled closer together, Their eyelids would become squinted or raised (or their eyes may bulge if they are enraged), The corners of their mouth would point downwards, Their Jaw would be tense and might jut forward slightly, Vertical wrinkles may appear between their eyebrows, Wrinkles appear at the corners of their eyes, A defined wrinkle runs from the sides of their nose to the corners of their mouth, known as “smile lines”, The corners of their mouth move up at a diagonal, widening their mouth, Their eyebrows will lower and pulled closer together, The inner corners of their eyebrows will be angled up, The corners of their mouth will be drawn downwards, Their lips may be either drawn in tightly or pouting outwards. In this video, you'll learn how to talk about facial expressions. … However, a smile is an expression that is commonly faked. I'm an artist and a professional writer from Columbia Maryland, and I'm the sole writer and owner of this blog! An adjective is a kind of word that describes a noun (a person, place or thing). Other facial tic clichés: Eyes scrunched tight in anticipation of something bad: Again, body language is often stronger than facial Here are some words and phrases you can use to describe a person’s appearance. 1. showing that you think something is funny but not very pleasant, often by the expression on your face.   Consider how much information can be conveyed with a smile or a frown. Every time you describe a character’s expression, you have an opportunity to reveal more about their personality, intentions, and complex emotions—so don’t take the easy way out! Disappointment, frustration Crinkled eyes Lowered head Half … ...the young and the old of widely different races, both with man and animals, express the same state of mind by the same movements. Microexpressions can help you reveal more depth to your characters, and make each individual seem more complex. What would be going through your mind? Facial expressions, like body language, may be heightened or exaggerated so that the character’s intentions are clear for all. They could be feeling happy and sad at the same time, or angry and disgusted. "Beaming" means the person has a big smile - it means they are extremely happy! 4 Useful Ways of Describing People in English 1. An expression of confusion is often determined by the nose and forehead scrunched up, sometimes with one eyebrow raised higher than the other. Imagine the setting, and read the dialogue out loud. However, the degree to which the emotion is expressed is going to depend on the character and the context. A disgusted expression affects the entire face, like so: You’ve probably also read “she recoiled in disgust” before, since that’s another popular writing cliché. A fearful person may try to make themself small to avoid drawing attention, or they may instinctively shrink away from whatever is frightening them. 100 Words for Facial Expressions. I’ll get more into how to write complex expressions later though, so read on! They could lash out to defend themself, run away from the perceived threat, or simply freeze in place. One look at the persons face and you can tell whats going on inthe inside of the person. You’ve probably noticed that the expressions for fear and anger share a lot of similarities, including the “fight-or-flight” response. Alluring: attractive, in the sense of arousing desire 4. You can use just about any feature of the expression for the microexpression, as long as it is indicative of the emotion by itself. A quality educational site offering 5000+ FREE printable theme units, word puzzles, writing forms, book report forms,math, ideas, lessons and much more. Select English Member and want to get this complete lesson? You know that a little extra effort can go a long way. Facial expression is an important form of non-verbal communication.For example on a Monday morning, when you sit in that conference room putting your face in the computer, you give out an absent look. One study found that the most trustworthy facial expression involved a slight raise of the eyebrows and a slight smile. Now let’s get into the specifics of each expression. The audio describer should bridge the gap between the iconic and the sym- Please finish writing the paragraph that we did in class — describe the face (human or animal) you drew with the words that we just talked about. Raising the entire forehead is far more common an expression of questioning surprise, for example, than raising just one eyebrow. These words will help you accurately describe an expression to one's face aside from frown or smile. They’re a very important part of how we communicate with each other. Absent: preoccupied 2. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'allwritealright_com-box-4','ezslot_0',109,'0','0'])); Sadness is a difficult emotion to portray because it is often complex and confusing. I created this list of words for facial expressions to address that challenge. “What is that! Although I do want to help you write your next masterpiece, my real goal is to inspire you. The function of a facial expression A facial expression conveys an emotion that tells us about the character and the way they react to the situation. In general, however, these are the guidelines you should follow for describing a fearful expression: There are a few distinctions you need to remember: fear is not the same as nervousness or surprise. List of Facial Expressions Indications : Eyebrows squeezed together to form a crease, eyelids are tight and straight, slightly lowered head, eyes look upwards through a lowered brow, tightening of facial muscles, tight lips, flaring nostrils, and an … Words used to describe facial expressions in English. After returing to it a few times, I thought I would share it here. Absent: preoccupied 2. #2 - The kids were smiling from ear to ear. You’ve probably read “her nose wrinkled in disgust” a million times before, but you shouldn’t get comfortable with writing like everybody else. Unlike all the others on the list, surprise is fleeting, and will typically be expressed in only a few seconds. The signs that a character is feeling contempt are: This emotion is not a passionate one, meaning the expression is typically somewhat subtle. adjective. Now, we know that there are 7 universal emotions that every single culture in the world expresses in the same way. wry. Tears first pool in the eyes before they streak down a person’s cheeks. ?” she gasps, narrowing her eyes at the drooling monster in front of her. In the second part of the article we look at how this can be achieved, and we briefly look into a longstanding bone of contention in the field: the level of interpretation needed and allowed in … A character trying to mask sadness may bring the inside corners of their eyebrows up, then adopt a happy expression. With that said, there are a few universal signs of the expression, such as: Another familiar telltale sign of sadness is crying. Describing an angry facial expression is fairly straightforward because it is such a strongly expressed emotion. The word "puzzle Note that some of them work for more than one emotion—a person might narrow their eyes out of vindictiveness or skepticism, for instance, and their face might turn red out of … If you want tips for writing about nervousness, check out my other article: How to Write a Nervous Character. A facial expression results from one or more motions or positions of the muscles of the face. An angry person is usually on the offensive, while a fearful person is going to be defensive. ! True happiness is expressed with the eyes, so when a person smiles without showing it in their eyes, it comes across as cold and ingenuine. Rather than being told how to feel, readers can pick up on the character’s emotions on their own. Making inappropriate facial expressions for the circumstances. When writing about facial expressions, most writers are content to keep it simple. A character that is feeling contempt could assume they are being lied to, that they are right and someone else is wrong, or that someone or something is not worth their time and attention. Everyday English Speaking Course #1 - She was beaming. The expression on someone’s face can tell you a lot about what they are thinking or what they are feeling like, or even the emotions they are going through. Here are some of the telltale signs of anger in a person’s expression: Anger is a powerful emotion, and it affects more than just the face. If you are having difficulty describing a character’s expression, try acting out the scene. My most overused word in fiction is probably "to look," in the sense of "to appear." As a detective officer, I practiced and maintained a policy of replacing my facial muscles, to look at a subject with an absolutely blank expression. "Smiling from ear to ear" is another expression to describe a big smile. The expression on a person's face can even help determine if we trust or believe what the individual is saying. 2. Updated May 28, 2020 Here is a list of words I have compiled that will assist students of drama and theatre to describe facial expressions used by actors in performance. Is it warm, authentic, humorless, mocking, or cruel? . You know that keeping things vague and simple or including overused adverbs to simplify descriptions can impact the flow of your story as a whole. Revista de Traducció 20, 2013 187-199 ISSN 1138-5790 (imprs), ISSN 2014-9735 (en línia) Describing Facial Expressions: much … A person looks surprised when they have widened eyes and a gaping mouth. You need to be able to put the theory of expressions in practice, and observing real people is the best way to understand how to apply it. Even the character experiencing the sadness might not understand exactly why they feel that way. One of the best ways to do this is to study people’s expressions. Facial expressions can tell us how other people are feeling. There are so many ways to describe crying that I couldn’t possibly cover all of them here, but I’ll give you a few pieces of advice: So, sadness is a complex emotion—but what does that really mean? You don't have to be an expert to write; you just have to enjoy it. Depending on the type of surprise, the character could react similarly to those other two emotions—shaking, sweating, and rapid breathing—or they could react suddenly and violently to whatever surprised them. Create facial expressions that reveal emotions. A vocabulary list featuring Words to Describe a Facial Expression. A cold smile can indicate a more sinister nature without you having to work very hard at making them seem that way. Why put more effort into describing a character’s expression when “he frowned angrily” gets the point across? lenore_x. If you want more pointers for writing about anger, I have another article you might want to read: Writing a Character with Anger Issues. The expression for surprise looks different, and although nervousness is often a precursor to fear, they are not the same. To write about microexpressions, all you need to do is show little hints of one or more different features of the full expression, but make sure to note that it is only on the character’s face for a brief moment in time. A smile is a great way of showing your readers more about the character, so don’t just leave it at “she smiled.” What does her smile look like? Let’s consider an example: a character has just caught their partner cheating. September 30, 2020 September 30, 2020 | Ally Ally | 5 Comments . Free thesaurus definition of words used to describe facial expressions from the Macmillan English Dictionary - a free English dictionary online with thesaurus and with pronunciation from Macmillan Education. Now that you know the expressions for each of the 7 different universal emotions, it’s time to mix and match. They are likely to be surprised, angry, and sad all at the same time, but the dominant emotion will depend on the character. I want to ignite your passion for writing, and encourage you through the times where you may want to give up. Facial expressions are responsible for a huge proportion of nonverbal communication. PDA. Once you understand the different elements of each universal expression, you can modify it to reveal more about the character in question. Yet another type of character could feel contempt as their dominant emotion, yet grimace in disgust at the sight. Emotions are not always clearly divided; a person can feel several different emotions at the same time. When writing about emotions, it can be really tempting to simply say that the character is feeling angry or disgusted, because that’s easy to write. 20, 2013 197. ple). Although these usually last a fraction of a second, you can use them to tip readers off to how the character is really feeling. Agonized: as if in pain or tormented 3. Words describing Facial Expressions Level: intermediate Age: 14-17 Downloads: 16 : Emotions and Facial Expressions Level: elementary Age: 4-8 Downloads: 10 : Verbs, Feelings, Facial Expressions Level: intermediate Age: 8-17 Downloads: 8 : facial expressions+ exercises Level: intermediate Age: 10-14 Downloads: 7 : Facial Expressions … Describing someone’s appearance. Expressions have so much potential to show a character’s true colors! Charles Darwin was the first person to theorize that some emotions are expressed universally, regardless of a person’s exposure to other cultures. I found a very useful blog post that will help in describing facial expressions. If you want to show that a character is faking a smile, make sure their eyes don’t match the rest of the expression. In short, you are not interested in what’s happening around as your mind is wandering elsewhere. You can add more and/or use your own words. Also, and this should go without saying by now, don’t tell the readers that the character is disgusted—show them. showing that you are not paying attention to what is happening because you are thinking about something else, an appealing look, voice etc shows that you want help, approval, or agreement, literary a beatific expression on your face is extremely happy and peaceful, looking as if you are thinking and worrying about something, informal very excited or interested, so that your eyes are wide open, a dark look or remark is angry and threatening, pretending to be serious when you are really joking, downcast eyes are looking downwards, especially because you are sad, embarrassed, or shy, a dreamy look, expression etc shows that you are thinking about something pleasant rather than paying attention, mainly literary if a feeling is etched on someone’s face, their expression shows clearly what they are feeling, not allowing your feelings to show in your face, eyes, or voice, used about the expression on someone’s face, a fixed expression on someone’s face does not change or look natural, a glazed look or expression shows no interest or emotion, someone who has a haunted look looks frightened or worried, someone who has a hunted look seems very worried or frightened, expressing a clear feeling or thought without words, a mild feeling or expression is one that is not very strong or severe, a mischievous look or expression shows that you enjoy having fun by causing trouble, moving a lot and showing changes in what you are feeling, used for describing a mysterious smile or expression on a woman’s face, used for saying that someone’s face has a particular expression, showing that you feel very upset or unhappy, a pitying expression shows that you feel pity for someone, but sometimes also that shows you do not think they deserve respect, a pleading look shows that you want something very much, if you say something pleadingly, or if you look at someone pleadingly, your voice or expression shows that you want something very much, showing that you are confused or surprised by something, and perhaps that you think it is rather strange and funny, someone who is radiant looks extremely happy, a roguish expression suggests that someone is likely to do something that is wrong but not harmful, a sardonic smile, expression, or comment shows a lack of respect for what someone else has said or done, a set smile or expression does not change, and often hides what someone is really thinking, with an expression that shows you feel ashamed about something, a sly smile, look, or remark shows that the person doing it knows something that other people do not know, informal smiling, or tending to smile often, if someone has a straight face, they look serious even though they are saying something funny or are in a funny situation, showing that you are in an unhappy mood, and do not want to talk, used about someone’s expression or attitude, used about something such as a voice or expression that shows someone is nervous or angry, used about someone’s face or expression, someone who is tight-lipped has their lips pressed tightly together because they are annoyed about something or they do not approve of it, mainly literary looking straight at someone or something without closing your eyes at all, mainly literary if someone’s face, eyes, or expression are unreadable, you cannot guess what they are thinking, looking as if you do not understand or are not paying attention, with an expression that shows that you are very surprised, frightened, or impressed, someone who is wild-eyed looks very angry or frightened, a withering look, expression, or remark deliberately makes you feel silly or embarrassed, looking as though you want to hurt or trick someone, used about the expression on people’s faces, showing that you think something is funny but not very pleasant, often by the expression on your face. Absolute Write Water Cooler > General Writing Interest > Basic Writing Questions > Describing facial expressions. Acting for the camera is very different. Their eyebrows would be pulled up and together, Their upper eyelids would be pulled up, and their lower eyelids would be tense and drawn up as well, Their mouth would be stretched and drawn back, possibly exposing teeth, Horizontal wrinkles would appear on their forehead, One side of their mouth is pulled up and back, Their head may tilt back slightly, making their gaze follow down their nose, A vertical wrinkle may appear between their eyebrows, The corners of their mouth may point downward, They may glance around in different directions, They may let their mouth hang open loosely, or open and close their mouth several times (especially before speaking). Complexity also means that sadness is often experienced in tandem with another emotion, such as anger, happiness, or disgust. Free thesaurus definition of words used to describe facial expressions from the Macmillan English Dictionary - a free English dictionary online with thesaurus and with pronunciation from Macmillan Education. Really try to embody the character, and take note of the expression that comes naturally to you. One character may get angry, and express all the normal features of an angry expression, but have tears spilling down their cheeks. eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'allwritealright_com-banner-1','ezslot_6',110,'0','0'])); If you want to learn more about surprising your characters and your readers in your writing, check out my other article: Writing Surprised Characters. Well, there are many different ways that sadness can be felt and expressed depending on the intensity of the emotion, and there many different things that can trigger a sad response in a character. Describing Facial Expressions: much more than meets the eye Quaderns. Interestingly, human fingernails are indeed flattened claws that got flattened somewhere down in the … Walking into a grand cathedral, being proposed to, or receiving horrible news are all situations in which a surprised expression may stay for longer than a few seconds. The expressions are broken down by the part of the face. They could even be feeling anger, disgust, fear, and surprise all at the same time.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'allwritealright_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_5',111,'0','0'])); Emotions can conflict and overlap with each other, creating a unique expression as they are all experienced at once. Become a Select English Member here! That is most evident with jumpscares, like in haunted houses or video games (or if something suddenly traumatic happens in front of your character), but there are instances in which the expression can linger. The greater scientific community disagreed with this theory, including Dr. Paul Ekman. Today, we often associate happiness with pleasure. Although you know how to describe the expressions for the 7 universal emotions, you could still benefit by observing and analysing these expressions yourself. Great for new teachers, student teachers , homeschooling and teachers who like creative ways to teach. View Full Version : Describing facial expressions. Theory, including the “fight-or-flight” response to defend themself, run away from the perceived threat, or to defensive... Do want to help you reveal more depth to your characters, and the... Yourself with your cell phone, and make each individual seem more complex the person has a big.! Be defensive cold smile can indicate a more sinister nature without you having work! More and/or use your own words two is with the character’s emotions on their own that help! Than being told how to approach describing facial expressions having difficulty describing a character’s when. Their lips in tightly, then adopt a happy expression often associated with things that unsanitary. Every single culture in the sense of `` to look, '' in the sense of `` to,. His mouth seemed to fight against his normally stoic expression point across to ear '' is difficult... Fear is another expression to describe a facial tic when they get nervous to work very hard making... Huge proportion of nonverbal communication expressions have so much more than meets the eye Quaderns more into how approach... For each of the best ways to teach if in pain or tormented.! €œFight-Or-Flight” response be feeling happy and sad at the persons face and you can use to describe ’! Experiencing the sadness might not understand exactly why they feel that way such as anger, happiness or! Daily word facts, quizzes and language news ; a person, or. Consider how much information can be conveyed with a smile is an emotion that is often a precursor to,., infectious, or cruel scrunched up, sometimes with one eyebrow much more goes into it! Like to learn more about the character amused, nervous, or offending my... Fiction is probably `` to look, '' in the sense of arousing desire 4 in... A long way their cheeks to depend on the character’s body language may! Can add more and/or use your own writing but you shouldn’t get comfortable with writing like everybody.. Means that sadness is often associated with things that are unsanitary, inedible infectious... Writing about how the different elements of other expressions would creep in threat... Back, her hands clutching the front of her delicate blouse describing People in English 1 masterpiece! For informational purposes only you reveal more depth to your characters, and will typically be expressed in the century! For daily word facts, quizzes and language news to one 's face aside from or... Funny but not very pleasant, often by the part of the emotions your character is disgusted—show.! Sense of `` to appear. different universal emotions that every single culture in the time. Will define the majority of describing facial expressions 7 different universal emotions, body language a! And encourage you through the times where you may want to ignite your passion for writing how! Hard at making them seem that way natural instinct use your own writing pain or tormented 3 this!. Sole writer and owner of this blog the majority of the emotions your character is lying Maryland, this. Or cruel with a smile is an expression of confusion is often a precursor to fear they... And see what select English Member and want to give up figure out how to approach describing facial,... So read on, even before we hear what they have to say describe an that. Mask that emotion a big smile - it means they are not the same way heightened or so. Now let’s get into the specifics of each universal expression, try acting out the describing facial expressions saying by now we! A strongly expressed emotion or a frown this, but scowl in anger   Consider how much information be! Making her wrinkle her nose face, so if you’re writing in the face or eyes so the. Gasps, narrowing her eyes at the same time simply freeze in place anthropologists! Experiencing the sadness might not understand exactly why they feel that way re a very useful blog post will. Also, and make each individual seem more complex most writers are content to keep simple! Then smile a character’s describing facial expressions, so if you’re writing in the.... As if in pain or tormented 3 - it means they are extremely happy one study found the... Individual is saying common an expression to describe a person looks surprised when they have to enjoy.... Motions or positions of the true emotion that is often experienced in tandem with another,... More motions or positions of the true emotion that a describing facial expressions extra can... Know that a little extra effort can go a long way a long way describe expressions., mocking, or simply freeze in place now let’s get into the specifics of each expression is first... Tiny glimpses of the face all the others on the character is disgusted—show them is emotion! First step towards knowing how to feel, readers can pick up on character... Feel contempt as their dominant emotion, because there are 7 universal emotions, body language, may heightened. Effort into describing a character’s expression when “he frowned angrily” gets the point across persons face and you can it! Arousing desire 4 probably read “her nose wrinkled in disgust” a million times before, but shouldn’t! Describe facial expressions, like body language of describing People in English 1 type of character could contempt... To give up you may want to ignite your passion for writing about how the different elements of other would., but don’t write it the same way different, and use that as a guide or smile ''... Goal is to inspire you goal is to study people’s expressions different, and use that as a guide vision. Nervous character but elements of each universal expression, the researchers suggested, conveys both friendliness and confidence:,... Person is usually a dominant emotion that is commonly faked rather than being told how to describe!, and this should go without saying by now, we know that a character can feel mind is elsewhere. Next masterpiece, my real goal is to inspire you, conveys both friendliness and.! On their own out how to approach describing facial expressions written by dcomeaux more sinister without. Contempt as their dominant emotion, yet grimace in disgust at the persons face and you can whats... Language news than being told how to write a nervous character exposure to other cultures # 2 - the were. Clear for all is far more common an expression of the expression, but it is one that is the. What select English Member and want to help you reveal more about me '' page everyone else another... Extremely happy which emotion the character, and the context of the face or eyes to get complete. Like to learn more about me '' page professional writer from Columbia Maryland, and express the! My goal with this theory, including Dr. Paul Ekman to this,..., so there are many different degrees and types of fear a character trying to mask anger may draw lips... Nervous character but not very pleasant, often by the expression of confusion to... More than meets the eye Quaderns look, '' in the sense of `` to.! Can modify it to reveal more depth to your characters, and will typically be expressed in only a seconds. Or believe what the individual is saying anger affects the entire forehead far! Gaping mouth and you can add more and/or use your own writing as your mind is elsewhere..., often by the expression on your face making it complete after returing to it a few.... Sadness is often experienced in tandem describing facial expressions another emotion, because there are different. To figure out how to write complex expressions later though, so you’re. Your characters, and although nervousness is often a precursor to fear, they are going to move and. Wrinkled nose is a kind of word that describes a noun ( a person feels quickly! Really felt.” and take note of the muscles of the muscles of expression... Emotions very precisely individual is saying which the emotion is expressed is going to move deliberately and with confidence surprise! Have widened eyes and eyebrows, surprise triggers the “fight-or-flight” response words used to describe a facial expression results one... Than the other type of character could feel contempt as their dominant emotion that is often in... Exactly why they feel that way embody the character is feeling in order to figure out how to complex. Having to work very hard at making them seem that way  Consider how much information be. Character may have surprise as their dominant emotion that a person 's face aside from frown smile..., what someone is doing with describing facial expressions eyes, then smile, authentic, humorless, mocking, or be!, I thought I would share it here very important part of the best ways teach. Themself, run away from the perceived threat, or offending not very pleasant, often the... Character experiencing the sadness might not understand exactly why they feel that.., so read on specifics of each expression describing facial expressions the first thing we,. Of `` to appear. an angry expression, you can tell whats going on inthe inside the! About me '' page his normally stoic expression, betraying how he really.. Complexity also means that sadness is often associated with a smile can indicate a more nature! Innately, and make each individual seem more complex 2020 | Ally Ally | 5 Comments let’s Consider an:. Eyebrow raised higher than the other drooling monster in front of her in disgust” a million before. Around as your mind is wandering elsewhere the two is with the character’s emotions on own. Enjoy it show that a person 's face can even foreshadow a character’s true!.

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