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How to describe this reaction (1 Viewer)

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alpacinoutd

Senior Member
Please take a look at how Joey reacted in this clip after the mention of his name (what happened with his eyes and forehead.)


I often imagine my characters reacting in the same way, when they are shocked or receive bad news or hear something they don't like. I'm not sure if "his eyes widened" is accurate and I was wondering how this reaction could be described in writing.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
The above only displays to me as the static image I see in your post, not a video clip, so I can't see the expression you've noted. However, I came across a book a few months ago called "The Emotion Thesaurus". Not expensive, and you might find it helpful.
 

alpacinoutd

Senior Member
The above only displays to me as the static image I see in your post, not a video clip, so I can't see the expression you've noted. However, I came across a book a few months ago called "The Emotion Thesaurus". Not expensive, and you might find it helpful.
You should click on the link and then press enter if it doesn't display here.

How about now?


It's interesting what happens with his eyes, eyebrows and forehead after his name is mentioned.
 
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TheMightyAz

Mentor
In all honesty, these are the sort of questions you MUST answer yourself. This is what makes you, YOU. This is the essence of what will become your voice. To answer this is to cripple your development. :)
 

alpacinoutd

Senior Member
In all honesty, these are the sort of questions you MUST answer yourself. This is what makes you, YOU. This is the essence of what will become your voice. To answer this is to cripple your development. :)
Yes. But bear in mind that I'm a non-native speaker and I do my best to learn new phrases and words.
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Yes. But bear in mind that I'm a non-native speaker and I do my best to learn new phrases and words.
Why not write it in your native tongue and then translate it? An image is an image no matter what language is used.

His brows squared as if a hand of hair pulled at his face, eyes wide and full of a thousands miles of doubt.
 

alpacinoutd

Senior Member
Why not write it in your native tongue and then translate it? An image is an image no matter what language is used.

His brows squared as if a hand of hair pulled at his face, eyes wide and full of a thousands miles of doubt.

Thanks.

I never translate because it simply doesn't work.

Is it common to say "brows squared"?
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Would it make sense to say "his brows crumpled"?
"Brows creased" or "brows furrowed" is how I normally see it expressed. (Today for some reason the video embedded, which it was not yesterday).

And you're correct, word for word translations generally don't work. Idioms from language to language don't translate. You have to find the matching idiom, since idioms often sound like nonsense unless you have the background in the language.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I love the Joey Tribbiani surprised look. I think it made Matt LeBlanc famous. I agree tough to describe that fully captures it. "He widened his eyes abruptly as he cocked his head backward." or "He raised his eyebrows abruptly as he cocked his head backward." I think the second one works better because you can't raise your eyebrows without widening your eyes at the same time, so you get both motions in one.

Doesn't really do it justice, but I tried. :)
 

TheMightyAz

Mentor
Oh, I thought you were talking about the guy standing up. I process emotions as movements, which is handy for writing. See it like this: He's absorbing the information quickly, taking it deep into his thoughts and then it's rebounding as an expression. There's a moment before the complete rebound (expression) when the weighing up process pauses, ready to fall on the wrong side of his self esteem.

Describe that.
 

MistWolf

Senior Member
I too thought we were talking about the guy standing.

Joey is the guy sitting? His reaction says "Thanks for throwing me under the bus!" It's a glower, a sullen look, a glare, a black look, a scowl. It's to look daggers.
 
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alpacinoutd

Senior Member
I too thought we were talking about the guy standing.

Joey is the guy sitting? His reaction says "Thanks for throwing me under the bus!" It's a glower, a sullen look, a glare, a black look, a scowl. It's to look daggers.

That's my bad. Maybe I should've explained. I assumed everybody on the planet has seen this show and knows Joey.
 

Ralph Rotten

Staff member
Mentor
Joey was about to discount Ross's assertion as more egghead crap, but the inclusion of his name, apart from the others, caused his jaw to drop a little.
"Whaaaa?" He mumbled as Ross continued his rant.
 
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