characters / descriptors / writers resources

How to Describe Actions (Era-Specific)

I posted a long list of descriptors for actions that can be used in any era here. This is a list that must fit the time frame of your novel, so be careful. For example, don’t use the second one about ‘inhaler’s, if they weren’t invented during your character’s life:

  • Struggling with his gloves
  • Sucking on an inhaler
  • Ran his fingers over the map like a Braille penthouse
  • Could have charmed the British out of Northern Ireland
  • More energy than a nuclear power plant
  • One leg over the corner of the table
  • Long legs cramped in the narrow front seat
  • Took the stairs two at a time
  • One haunch on the wood, one boot swinging freely
  • Sitting, shoulders hunched, feet point inward, duck-toed
  • Eased himself onto
  • Boosting herself onto the desk
  • Took another step forward, crowding him
  • Sits on his heels
  • She hesitated a beat before answering
  • Separated by the cut and quality of their suits
  • Shot a look over the top of his glasses
  • Squinted at the sun
  • Looked at me with a strangled expression
  • pulled his shirt down over a gold Rolex
  • Nodding like a bobble-head doll
  • Apprehension rose like the mercury in a thermometer
  • A man whose keen vision could snap the twine off Gordian knots
  • The car behind him honked once more, he would go take the driver out, but then his wallet was back…
  • Dipped a finger into the gravy
  • Uncurled from the sofa
  • Drew a bead on the car
  • Unfurled from her car like a boxer entering the ring
  • Walking rapidly, hands jammed into his pockets, mumbling to himself
  • Bustled her way to the stove and put a pot on to boil
  • It had been a number of years since he’d last experienced the vibrant undertones of a living ship at sea
  • Sitting in a red vinyl booth at Sid’s Diner, picking at her tuna salad and listening to Frank and Doug gossip
  • The room erupted in cheers and high-fives
  • Expanded like a party balloon

Remember: These are all taken from books I’ve read. Use their ideas, but not their exact phrasing.

For more descriptors for characters and settings, click here.


One thought on “How to Describe Actions (Era-Specific)

  1. Pingback: 70 Collections to Infuse Your Writing | WordDreams...

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