Study P3 English Descriptive Writing Techniques - Geniebook

Descriptive Writing Techniques

Often, you would have trouble finding the right words or descriptive expressions to use when describing your character. In this chapter, we will learn a technique that helps describe a developed character so that when you write, the readers are able to understand the character or imagine how they look.. Descriptive writing techniques primarily include two components, which are:

  • Appearance
  • Mannerisms
     

Describing Characters

Of the two primary components, let’s look at  the physical aspect  first.

  1. Physical Appearance

How would you describe someone based on physical appearance or rather, what you see, not what they do? This can be further broken down or categorised into the following different parts:

Physical Appearance

Expressions

  • Weary
  • Sheepish
  • Disappointed
  • Gleeful

Features

  • Youthful
  • Puffy
  • Bony
  • Gorgeous
  • Cute

Hair

  • Curly
  • Silky
  • Luscious
  • Shaggy
  • Frizzy

Physique

  • Obese
  • Petite
  • Sculpted
  • Athletic
  • Skeletal

Outfit

  • Feminine
  • Formal
  • Show-stopping
  • Flattering
  • Gaudy

Complexion

  • Tan
  • Pale
  • Freckled
  • Ashy
  • Sunburnt

 

 

Question 1:

The __________ teenager was the tallest in his class. At home, his mum was always telling him to eat more.

 

  1. lanky
  2. squat
  3. pudgy
  4. beefy

 

Answer:

The correct answer to this question is option 1 - lanky. “Lanky” is someone who is skinny and tall. The clue in the question is that he is the tallest in his class, and secondly, his mum always used to tell him to eat more, which means he is also skinny..

 

 

Question 2:

Describe this expression.


Image Credit: unsplash.com
 
  1. troubled
  2. furious
  3. calm

 

Answer:

To describe this expression, we would use option (1) - troubled. Furious would be incorrect here. The correct word to be used here is troubled, as he looks like he is at a loss of what to do and seems distressed..

 

 

Question 3:

The fearsome creature growled. I could see its sharp, __________ teeth in the dark.

 

  1. gleaming
  2. shimmery
  3. glowing
  4. dull

 

Answer:

“Gleaming” is always used to describe things that are shiny, for instance: a gleaming knife, the gleam of a gun etc. Another example of how “gleaming” is used:

There was an evil gleam in his eyes.

Gleaming is not necessarily a bad word and is not always associated with negative things although there is very frequently that connotation, Hence the correct answer to this question is option (1) - gleaming.

 

 

  1. Mannerism

Now we will now move on to mannerisms. You can describe a character’s attitude, emotions, state of mind, intentions etc by their body language.. In order to build a realistic and engaging character, , their descriptions of their mannerisms must be thoughtfully crafted so as to showwhat they’re doing and thinking, reacting and/or planning. Mannerisms can be further broken down or categorised into the following:

Mannerisms

Walking

  • Limped
  • Tiptoed
  • Hobbled
  • Strolled
  • Sprinted

Looking

  • Ogled
  • Peeked
  • Glared
  • Admired
  • Studied

Saying

  • Babbled
  • Giggled
  • Quipped
  • Snapped
  • Quipped

Gestures

  • Winked
  • Nudged
  • Hushed
  • Beckoned
  • Fidgeted

Adverbs of Manner

  • Cheerfully
  • Silently
  • Glumly
  • Coldly
  • Enthusiastically

Emotions

  • Jealous
  • Hysterical
  • Embarrassed
  • Melancholic
  • Astonished

 

Question 4:

“I shall not spare your life,” said the queen __________.

 

  1. enthusiastically
  2. coldly
  3. timidly
  4. bravely

 

Answer:

The correct answer to this question is option (2) - coldly. “Coldly” means “in a way that is very unfeeling, hard or cruel. “Bravely” cannot be used here as the act of ordering someone’s death is not courageous. . “Brave” is always used as a positive adjective and in a positive situation.

 

 

Question 5:

She’d finally had enough of the taunting. “STOP IT OR ELSE!” she __________.

 

  1. snapped
  2. whispered
  3. muttered
  4. advised

 

Answer:

The correct answer to this question is option (1) - snapped. This is a saying verb. Saying verbs are basically verbs that replace “said” in a sentence. Aperson snaps when they have been enduring hardship/struggles for acvery long period of time in silence.. Frequently, it simmers and finally reaches a boiling point, causing them to “snap”.

 

 

Question 6: 

We __________ back to school after the tiring football match under the scorching sun.

 

  1. trudged
  2. scampered
  3. skipped
  4. glided

 

Answer:

The correct answer to this question is option (1) - trudged. To “trudge” is to walk in a slow, sluggish manner which is indicative of exhaustion.. “Trudge” is generally used to describe the way one walks after a long, grueling day.

 

 

Test Your Concepts

Answer the following questions based on the concepts we’ve covered in this article. If you get stuck, revisit the relevant section to revise the concepts.

 

Question 1:

The teacher stared at Valerie’s __________ uniform. “Do you not have an iron at home?” she said sharply.

 

  1. crisp
  2. flawless
  3. amazing
  4. crumpled

 

Question 2:

Describe this facial expression.


Image Credit: pexels.com
 
  1. Chirpy
  2. Grumpy
  3. Curious

 

Question 3:

The arrogant boy __________ around the school as if he owned it.

 

  1. strutted
  2. wandered
  3. darted
  4. slinked

 

Question 4:

He glanced around __________ before slipping into the empty classroom.

 

  1. soundly
  2. courageously
  3. warmly
  4. nervously

 

Question 5:

Maria __________ into the office, full of charm and confidence. “It’s going to be an easy day,” she thought.

 

  1. stormed
  2. dashed
  3. breezed


 

Continue Learning
Grammar Cloze Exercises Vocabulary MCQ Part 1
Tenses Relative Pronouns
Descriptive Writing Techniques Composition Writing
Synthesis & Transformation Vocabulary MCQ Part 2
Vocabulary Cloze Editing
Comprehension Cloze Quantifiers
Distributives Guess The Lyrics
Spelling Bee The Final Transformation
Vocabulary Cloze 2 Comprehension
Grammar Cloze Distributives 2
Prepositions  

 

Resources - Academic Topics
Primary
Primary 1
Primary 2
Primary 3
English
Grammar Cloze Exercises
Vocabulary MCQ Part 1
Tenses
Relative Pronouns
Descriptive Writing Techniques
Composition Writing
Synthesis & Transformation
Vocabulary MCQ Part 2
Vocabulary Cloze
Editing
Comprehension Cloze
Quantifiers
Distributives
Guess The Lyrics
Spelling Bee
The Final Transformation
Vocabulary Cloze 2
Comprehension
Grammar Cloze
Distributives 2
Prepositions
+ More
Maths
+ More
Science
+ More
Primary 4
Primary 5
Primary 6
Secondary
Secondary 1
Secondary 2
Secondary 3
Secondary 4
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