Sunday, August 5, 2018

Show, Don't Tell Descriptions - Part 2 Negative Facial Expressions

by Elva Cobb Martin

Show, don't tell is so important for us writers that I keep adding information to my file and studying books on the subject.

Here are some favorite negative facial expressions I've noted  from my research or composed.

His face turned to marble as he cast a searing glance toward his unwanted passenger.    (Do you think my description of Horatio Hornblower in this picture shows versus tells?)

His mouth spread into a thin-lipped smile.

His mouth pulled into a sour grin.

Offering her a distracted nod, he returned her smile.

Her smile held a touch of sadness.

She smile smoothly, betraying nothing of her annoyance.

His mouth took on an unpleasant twist.

He contradicted her with a smile that set her teeth on edge.

A satanic smile spread across his thin lips.

She pasted on a smile of nonchalance.

His face became a marble effigy of contempt.

The familiar mask descended once again.

His expression held a note of mockery.

Her features tightened and her eyes turned hard.

She looked away fast at the sight of his scowl.


Have you some negative expressions that show, don't tell to add to our list? Great facial descriptions are great to edit into your second draft. Thanks for stopping by. Please share by clicking on the small icons below.

Elva Martin

Elva Cobb Martin is vice-president of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. She is a former school teacher and a graduate of Anderson University and Erskine College. She has two inspirational novels published with Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Summer of Deception, a contemporary romantic suspense, and an historical romance, In a Pirate’s Debt. Both have spent time on Amazon’s 100 Best Sellers List for Women’s Religious Fiction. She has indie published a Bible study on Amazon, Power Over Satan, on the  believer's authority in Christ. Decision, Charisma, and Home Life have carried Elva's articles. Jim Hart of Hartline Literary represents her. She and her husband Dwayne are semi-retired ministers. A mother and grandmother, Elva lives in South Carolina. Connect with her on her web site,on Twitter; Facebook;  and Pinterest

 Link to her romance novels and non-fiction works on Amazon: