Sunday, 25 January 2015


Eyes reveal our inner emotions.  They are how we connect with people.   As an author, I find it challenging to depict a character’s emotions and not fall into the allure of using a cliché or idiom to describe the appearance or action of their eyes.   
Some visually, amusing eye calisthenics I’ve encountered, and most likely used, include: 
Eyes ….
·         galloped around the room
·         ping ponged around the room
·         tumbled
·         dropped to the floor
·         bounced about the room
·         popped out
·         ran across the thieves’ faces
Sharla Rae (@SharlaWrites) has posted a very helpful writer’s reference guide on how to effectively describe eyes, eye brows, eye appearances and shapes, eye disorders, eye parts, and styles of eye glasses. She is a published author of three historical romance novels. 
An excerpt from Sharla’s article on descriptive eyes and brow movements, eye expressions, and appearances follows.  For the complete article, “Character Eye Descriptions:  The Window to Your Story” go to:

Eye and Brow Movement

Anchored her attention on
Angry gaze sliced
Blinked owlishly
Blinking with feigned innocence
Brow furrowed as his mouth turned grim
Brows knitted in a frown
Bushy brows beetled
Cocked a brow in surprise
Dragged his hawkish gaze
Drilled her with
Eyed him demurely/boldly
Eyes caressed

Eyes retraced their path to
Eyes rolled skyward
Eyes wandered
Flayed him with
Focused on her lips
Followed as the model passed
Gawking at girls
Gaze cruised her figure
Gaze dipped to her
Glance flickered
Glanced sideways
Glare traveled with unnerving thoroughness
Glared daggers [overused]
Inspected the cabin
Inventoried his surroundings
Lashes swept up and she blinked
Leveled a glowering look
Lingered over the script lines
Lowered her eyes/opened
Narrowed to crinkled slits
One heavy brow slanted in strong disapproval
Penetrating gaze probed
Perusing the sea of faces in hopes of

Pried her gaze off the hunk
Probing visual caress
Raked with disdain
Searching the depths
Shifted her angry glare to
Shot him a disgusted glance
Sighted out the corner of her eye
Slammed her eyes shut and hummed the pain
Squeezed his eyes shut and gritted his teeth
Staring fixedly
Strange pale eyes darted
Studied with piercing scrutiny
Subtle wink
Swung her restless gaze
Tracking the other man’s gaze

Unrelenting stare
Up went his brows
Violet eyes strayed to the
Watched until distance obscured
Wrenched his gaze
Eye Expression and Appearance
[Some of these cross over with Movement]
Burned fanatically
Devoured her beauty
Eyes implored
A look designed to peel his hide
Almond shaped
Appraising glance
Astute gaze
Avid eyes attested to his quick wit
Beady rat eyes
Blazed like torches

Bulging with fright
Chaotic, helter-skelter eyebrows—like his mind, unsystematic and fickle
Commanding visage
Crudely insulting stare
Deep set beneath heavy black brows
Disapproval gleamed in her eyes
Dissatisfaction plowed his brow
Disturbing smoke-hued
Elliptical eyes with heavy lids
Eyebrows like checkmarks
Eyes all gooey with
Eyes like a shark
Feline eyes
Flashed with gaiety/anger etc
Flat black, dispassionate as bullets
Frankly assessing
Get a load of those blinkers
Gleam of deviltry
Glittering with
Green flinty rocks
Hallows of madness
Hard as nails
Heart-stopping eyes
Held hostage by his eyes
Intent and unwavering/riveted
Irritated visage
Liquid pools of
Luminous glow of happiness
Mellow as the sky at sunset
Narrowed to slits
Nebulous gaze / unreadable
New moon-shaped
Penetrating blue of his eyes
Possessed the power to make her
Rheumy old eyes
Sharp with intelligence
Slits for eyes
Sliver of emotion in those cool eyes
Sloped down at the corners like a sad pup
Small evil eyes
Sneaky close-set eyes

Steeply arched brows
Eyes sunken in the head
Tears of remorse flooded
The dark mystery of his eyes
Triangular brows/always surprised
Twenty-twenty vision
Veiled expression of contempt
Visionary eyes
Visual exploration of
Watery eyes
Where did you get those peepers
Wild and frightened
Wore spectacles/glasses/winkers

1 comment:

Elizabeth Lindsay said...

Love this list, Donna...they eyes definitely have it!