For the next few months, weekly writing tips will include word choice suggestions. That includes:
- colorful and original descriptions
- pithy words and phrases
- picture nouns and action verbs
- writing that draws a reader in and addicts them to your voice
I keep a collection of descriptions that have pulled me into the books. I’m fascinated how authors can–in just a few words–put me in the middle of their story and make me want to stay there. This one’s on how to describe eating and drinking.
A note: These are for inspiration only. They can’t be copied because they’ve been pulled directly from an author’s copyrighted manuscript (intellectual property is immediately copyrighted when published).
- Ate with more relish than the food warranted
- I mumbled through a mouthful of beef koon po.
- salmon steaks while Faith made rice and fixed a salad.
- Said finally, shoveling another bite of eggs into his mouth.
- Got the words out through a mouthful of roast beef
- Between bites
- Asked through a mouthful of sushi
- Popped it into her mouth, and said around it
- Nodded as he took another bite
- She asked between bites of calamari
- Asked around a mouthful of…
- Ate a tasteless sandwich
- A steak with sautéed mushrooms and caramelized onions on top
- Spooned into bowls without a lot of ceremony
- She took a slug of the drink
- To avoid potentially poisonous plants, stay away from any wild or unknown plants that have–
- Milky or discolored sap.
- Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods.
- Bitter or soapy taste.
- Spines, fine hairs, or thorns.
- Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsleylike foliage.
- “Almond” scent in woody parts and leaves.
- Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs.
- Three-leaved growth pattern.
- He poured four fingers of off-brand scotch out of the Johnnie Walker black bottle. He inspected the level in his glass and poured soe more.
- Ice clinked gently in the glass as she rolled it absently between her hands.
- Took a pull on a beer
- I’ll nurse this (a drink)
- Swilling his beer
- Gulping down a beer
- All foam and no beer
- The coffee was bitter and so hot it blistered my tongue
- I brought donuts and he supplied some really awful coffee
- Sitting in a red vinyl booth at Martha’s Diner, picking at her tuna salad and listening to Frank and Doug gossip
- Like what, I said around the bite
- Having drinks and sandwiches and laughing often
- Getting shot at and knocked in the head made me hungry
- He blessed himself and started to eat
- I washed down a bit of stuffing with a swallow of beer.
- Look virtuous with cottage cheese rather than despicable with a Pop-Tart, she reckoned
- Click for the complete list of 69 writer’s themed descriptions.
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Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Savage Land, Winter 2024.