Writing Beginner

How to Describe Eyes in Writing (21 Best Tips + Examples)

Eyes are often hailed as the “windows to the soul,” capable of conveying complex emotions without uttering a single word.

As writers, mastering the art of describing eyes can elevate your storytelling.

Here is how to describe eyes in writing:

Describe eyes in writing by focusing on color, shape, and emotional depth. Use descriptive words like “captivating” or “luminous.” Phrases like “windows to the soul” add layers. Consider eyelids, lashes, and blinking for subtle emotional cues.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to describe eyes in writing.

1. The Color Palette: More Than Just Blue and Brown

Close up of a colorful eye - How to Describe Eyes in Writing

Color is usually the first attribute that comes to mind when describing eyes.

Going beyond the cliché blue and brown can bring your characters to life in vivid detail.

Try unconventional colors and make comparisons to set a mood.

For example, instead of saying, “She had green eyes,” you might say, “Her eyes were the color of freshly mown grass, evoking an undeniable feeling of rebirth.”

Different colors can invoke various emotions or suggest specific character traits.

“Eyes as gray as a stormy sea” could symbolize a tumultuous spirit or an adventurous soul.

Therefore, use colors not just as factual descriptions but as emotional or character-driven statements.

You can even mix colors for added depth, “His eyes were a mix of gold and brown, like a forest floor dappled in autumn sunlight.”

2. The Light Dance: Luminosity Unveiled

The way eyes catch light can describe more than just the setting sun or dim room.

It can tell your reader about the emotional landscape of your characters.

For example, eyes that “gleam like polished stones catching the midday sun” could portray a character in a state of clarity or revelation.

The luminosity of the eyes can also serve as a narrative device, enhancing the emotional undercurrents of a scene.

“Her eyes dimmed, mirroring the dwindling campfire, as she heard the sad tale” can infuse additional layers of emotion into the situation.

This can help the reader feel the gravity of the story along with the character.

3. Shape-Shifting: The Geometry of Gaze

The shape of a character’s eyes can be a playground for creativity.

From almond-shaped to round, the geometry of eyes can offer readers clues about a character’s disposition.

For instance, “Her oval eyes always had a dreamy look, as if she were perpetually lost in thought” can say a lot about the character’s daydreaming nature or thoughtful demeanor.

Don’t forget that eye shape can be dynamic, changing with emotional states or circumstances.

You might describe a normally cheerful character as having “eyes that narrowed into cold slivers when he heard the disparaging comment.”

This not only gives your characters depth but also builds a stronger emotional connection with the reader.

4. Blink Back the Emotions

Never underestimate the power of a blink in conveying emotional subtlety.

A quick blink can express surprise.

While slow, measured blinks could imply a character is deeply contemplating a decision.

For example, “She blinked rapidly, as if trying to ward off the tears that threatened to spill,” succinctly captures a moment of emotional vulnerability.

A single blink can also serve as a pivotal moment in the story.

“He blinked once, slowly, as if imprinting the scene onto his soul” not only adds emotional weight but also signals a significant moment.

5. Mirrors and Windows: Emotional Portals

Eyes can act as mirrors reflecting internal emotions or windows offering a glimpse into the soul.

A character’s gaze can speak volumes, revealing underlying feelings or thoughts.

“His eyes were impenetrable mirrors, reflecting nothing but deflecting everything,” suggests a stoic or guarded individual.

In contrast, eyes can serve as open windows, giving readers insight into a character’s emotional state.

“Her eyes were open windows to her joy, sparkling like stars on a clear night,” indirectly reveals the depth of her happiness.

Using this technique can convey complex emotions in a show-don’t-tell fashion.

6. Crinkles and Lines: The Etchings of Experience

The skin surrounding the eyes can be a treasure trove of storytelling.

Whether it’s laugh lines or weary creases, these “etchings” can reveal a character’s history or emotional state.

For example, “Her eyes were framed by lines that spoke of decades filled with laughter and resilience” provides a wealth of information about a character’s life experiences.

On the flip side, you can use the absence of these lines to highlight a different set of experiences or qualities.

“His eyes were alarmingly smooth, devoid of the wrinkles that often accompany age, as if time itself hesitated to mark him.”

This could signify a range of possibilities—from a sheltered life to a mysterious, age-defying character.

7. The Focus Factor: Where the Gaze Lands

Where a character focuses their eyes can indicate interest, discomfort, or even deceit.

“She couldn’t maintain eye contact and her gaze kept drifting to the floor,” could suggest a lack of confidence or that she’s hiding something.

Here’s another example: “His eyes locked onto the painting, absorbing every brushstroke as if trying to capture its essence.”

The focus of the gaze is telling of the character’s artistic interest.

Or perhaps a deeper emotional connection to the artwork.

Employ focus intentionally to add another layer of complexity to your characters.

8. The Invisible Force: Magnetic Attraction or Repulsion

Sometimes eyes don’t just look; they draw in or push away.

Describing this invisible force can add an ethereal quality to your characters.

“Her eyes seemed to pull him in, a gravitational force he couldn’t resist,” not only describes attraction but also gives it a nearly magical, irresistible quality.

Alternatively, eyes can repel, emitting an almost palpable energy that keeps people at bay.

“People avoided looking into his eyes, as if a simple glance could cast a dark shadow over their day.”

This can set the mood quickly and establish a character as menacing or tragically solitary.

9. Eye-talk: Silent Conversations

Eyes can often communicate messages that words fail to capture.

Describing these “silent conversations” can create emotionally charged scenes between characters.

For instance, “Their eyes met, and in that brief moment, a flurry of unspoken apologies and forgiveness exchanged.”

In a more humorous scenario, you might write, “A roll of her eyes spoke louder than words, a whole paragraph on why the joke was painfully unfunny.”

Use eye-talk to demonstrate the depth of understanding or the lack thereof between characters.

By doing so, you enrichen the personal dynamics in your story.

10. Motion and Emotion: The Kinetics of Eye Movement

The movement of eyes—darting, sweeping, flicking—can indicate a variety of emotions or thoughts.

“Her eyes darted around the room, like a hummingbird seeking nectar, but finding none,” could indicate anxiety or a feeling trapped.

Movement can also be slow and calculated: “His eyes slowly scanned the crowd until they landed on her. It was as though he had found what he was unconsciously searching for all evening.”

Here, the eyes act almost like a compass, guided by emotion or instinct to find a person in a crowd.

11. Veils and Shields: The Role of Eyelids and Lashes

Eyelids and eyelashes do more than just frame the eyes.

They act as veils or shields, expressing vulnerability or defense.

For example, “Her eyelashes were a curtain that she dropped quickly, hiding the turmoil that had briefly flickered in her eyes,” could indicate a momentary lapse in an otherwise strong facade.

On the other hand, “His eyelids lifted slowly, as if reluctantly allowing access to the secrets hidden in his gaze,” paints a vivid image of a guarded individual.

With eyelids acting as gatekeepers and eyelashes as intricate curtains, your description gains a theatrical quality.

12. Icy Stares and Fiery Glances: Temperature Imagery

Using temperature as imagery can add another layer of emotional context.

“Her gaze was icy, freezing everyone it touched, making even a crowded room feel lonely,” effectively conveys detachment and emotional coldness.

Alternatively, “His eyes burned with a fire that could ignite even the most dampened spirits,” suggests passion.

By assigning a “temperature” to your characters’ eyes, you’re doing more than describing.

You’re setting the emotional climate of your story.

13. Twin Moons: Symmetry and Asymmetry

Our eyes are often assumed to be symmetrical.

But describing a character with slightly asymmetrical eyes can add an interesting twist.

“Her right eye was noticeably larger than her left, as if it had seen more of the world and expanded with wisdom,” can introduce an element of uniqueness and intrigue.

Conversely, perfect symmetry can be used to highlight otherworldly beauty or artificiality.

“His eyes were symmetrically perfect, each a mirror image of the other, making him appear almost too flawless, like a sculpture.”

14. Distance and Depth: Proximity of Emotional Connection

The physical space between eyes can symbolize emotional distance or closeness.

“Her closely set eyes, like parallel lines that never meet, made it hard to decipher her emotions,” suggests a character who might be emotionally inaccessible.

On the flip side, consider: “His wide-set eyes seemed to embrace the world, absorbing its myriad colors and nuances.”

This description could indicate a more open, emotionally available individual.

The space between eyes can become a metaphorical playground for writers.

15. Transient Hues: Changing Colors

Some eyes change colors depending on the lighting or the character’s mood.

Describing this can add a mystical or unpredictable quality.

“Her eyes shifted from a deep blue to an oceanic green when she was lost in thought,” opens up a realm of questions and adds an element of unpredictability to the character.

Or you might write, “As he grew angrier, the brown of his eyes seemed to darken, like clouds gathering before a storm.”

Changing colors can make your character seem complex and intriguing, demanding the reader’s attention.

16. Windows or Walls: Transparency and Opacity

The eyes can be either transparent windows to the soul or impenetrable walls.

For example, “Looking into her eyes was like staring into a clear pond, where even the smallest pebble on the bottom was visible,” indicates transparency and vulnerability.

Contrastingly, “His eyes were like tinted windows—no matter how hard you looked, you couldn’t see inside.”

The latter communicates a sense of emotional fortification.

Transparency and opacity serve as tools to indicate how approachable or aloof a character is as a person.

17. Spotlighting: Single Eye Focus

Most descriptions involve both eyes, but focusing on just one can create an arresting image.

“Her left eye seemed to flicker with an inner light, commanding attention and distracting from her otherwise placid face,” can indicate a multifaceted character with hidden depths or asymmetrical qualities.

Or perhaps, “His right eye twitched involuntarily, belying the calm he otherwise projected.”

A focus on a single eye can serve to amplify emotion, make a character more memorable, or highlight an incongruity in their personality.

18. Eye Accessories: Glasses and Contacts

Glasses or contact lenses can be more than just functional.

They can offer insights into a character.

“Her thick glasses magnified her eyes to an impossible size, giving her an air of constant astonishment,” shows how glasses can be used to amplify a character trait.

Accessories become an extension of the character, revealing their choices, desires, or insecurities.

19. A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Artistic Imagery

Sometimes, describing eyes as artworks can be exceptionally evocative.

“Her eyes were like a Jackson Pollock painting, a chaotic blend of colors that somehow made sense,” can indicate a complex and unpredictable character.

Or perhaps, “His eyes resembled a Van Gogh sky, swirling with depth and endless hues of blue and yellow.”

Artistic comparisons not only make the description more vivid.

But can also provide an intellectual backdrop to your character’s emotional landscape.

20. The Art of Avoidance: When Eyes Are Hidden

There can be significant impact in moments where a character’s eyes are hidden—by hair, a hat, or even their own hand.

“His eyes were obscured by a mess of unruly hair, as if he was deliberately hiding from the world,” can suggest a character who is emotionally unavailable or in a state of internal chaos.

Conversely, “She covered her eyes with a hand, as if blocking out the reality before her,” could indicate denial.

Or, perhaps, a reluctance to face the truth.

The absence or obstruction of eyes can speak volumes, adding a layer of complexity to the narrative.

21. The Blink Code: The Tempo of Eye Movement

The rhythm and tempo of blinking can subtly express a character’s emotional state or intentions.

Rapid blinking might reveal nervousness, excitement, or distress.

Slow, deliberate blinks could convey thoughtfulness or calm.

The blink can be as revealing as any other aspect of eye description, acting as a silent Morse code that conveys underlying emotional states.

For example, “Her eyelids shut tightly and reopened slowly, as though she was steeling herself for what was to come. Each blink seemed to be a word in a private language of courage.”

Here is a good video about how to describe eyes in writing:

10 Elements of Eyes to Describe in Writing

To summarize, here are 10 elements (or traits) of eyes that you can describe:

  • Color : The most obvious characteristic, but it can say a lot about a character. Blues, browns, greens, and grays each have their own set of associated traits and emotions.
  • Shape : The shape of the eyes can lend personality cues. Almond-shaped, round, or narrow eyes can make a character seem mysterious, innocent, or intense.
  • Size : Describing the size of the eyes can also give hints about a character’s personality. Large eyes might convey innocence or openness, while small eyes could suggest cunning or secrecy.
  • Luminosity/Brightness : How bright or dull the eyes appear can reflect the character’s emotional state or overall personality. Luminous eyes might signify vitality or a strong spirit.
  • Transparency : This refers to how “readable” the eyes are. Are they the proverbial “window to the soul,” or are they more like impenetrable walls?
  • Intensity : The power of a gaze can say a lot. An intense stare may show determination, while a lack of intensity could signal disinterest or fatigue.
  • Texture : While not immediately visible from a distance, up close the eyes may have specks, flecks, or distinct patterns that could add uniqueness to a character.
  • Direction : Where a character is looking—averting their gaze, staring straight ahead, or looking down—can show their emotional state and add context to dialogue and actions.
  • Movement : This includes blinking, winking, or any other eye movements. Rapid blinking might indicate stress, while slow blinking could indicate thoughtfulness or calm.
  • Surrounding Features : Eyebrows, eyelashes, and even the skin around the eyes can contribute to the overall impression. Bushy eyebrows, long lashes, or dark circles can add depth to your description.

30 Best Words to Describe Eyes in Writing

Here is a list of words to help you describe eyes in your stories:

  • Melancholic
  • Almond-shaped
  • Calculating

30 Best Phrases to Describe Eyes in Writing

When a single word won’t do, you’ll need phrases for describing eyes.

Check out this curated list of phrases for how to describe eyes in writing:

  • Eyes like saucers
  • Windows to the soul
  • A storm brewing in his eyes
  • Eyes bright with unshed tears
  • A twinkle in her eye
  • Eyes darker than midnight
  • Eyes that held galaxies
  • Deep pools of emotion
  • Eyes like open books
  • Eyes narrowed in suspicion
  • Eyes as cold as ice
  • An unreadable gaze
  • Pools of molten gold
  • A piercing gaze
  • Eyes dancing with mischief
  • Eyes filled with wonder
  • A guarded look
  • Eyes aflame with passion
  • A faraway look
  • An inviting gaze
  • Eyes shimmering like the ocean
  • A gaze that could cut glass
  • Eyes soft with compassion
  • A lingering look
  • A flirtatious glance
  • Eyes clouded with doubt
  • Eyes gleaming with intelligence
  • An intense stare
  • Eyes that defy description
  • Eyes closed in contemplation

3 Full Examples of Describing Eyes in Different Genres

Let’s learn how to describe eyes in writing by looking at full examples in various fiction genres.

In the dimly lit room, his eyes caught hers, and it felt as though time stood still.

They were deep pools of chocolate, rich and warm, promising sweet secrets and hidden depths. A soft light seemed to emanate from them, casting a gentle glow that could melt the iciest of hearts. It was as though his soul was laid bare, and she felt herself drawn into his gaze, an irresistible force pulling her closer to the love she’d been seeking all her life.

As she walked through the enchanted forest, her eyes changed to mirror her surroundings.

Normally a plain brown, they turned into a swirling mix of emerald and gold, as if her irises were tiny galaxies with stars twinkling within. The transformation was spellbinding, making her appear not just of this realm, but a creature of otherworldly beauty.

Those eyes held power—power to unlock realms and unleash spells, a mysterious allure that could not be ignored.

His eyes were like shards of ice, a piercing blue that seemed to cut through the dim light of the interrogation room.

Each glance was calculated, devoid of emotion, revealing nothing yet seeing everything. It was a look that had unnerved many—a gaze that had stared down threats and seen horrors that would break most men.

His eyes were the epitome of a human lie detector, missing nothing, ever vigilant, and deeply unsettling.

Final Thoughts: How To Describe Eyes in Writing

The best way to describe eyes is blending the tips, words, and phrases.

Also, connect the bigger plot and theme to your eye descriptions.

Of course, there is much more than eyes to describe in your story. Read the other guides on our site to learn how to describe, people, places, and scenes in your story.

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Best Ways To Describe Eye Color In Writing

Eye Color in Writing

Eyes are the windows to the soul. A common saying and in day-to-day life, we have learned to not discern a person’s personality or quirks based on their eye color. However, when we are writing, there is a lot more freedom. And eye color is a great way to define your character, give the reader hints about their characteristics or journey within your story.

The selection to choose from is also greater in writing than in eye colors that occur naturally. Purple eyes? Red eyes? No problem!

Let’s have a look at how we can express different eye colors even better than just name-dropping the color.

Best Terms for Black Eyes

Black is an eye color chosen for people that are supposed to seem more secretive and mysterious. A character with black eyes can be very passionate and deep, loyal and intuitive. It’s also often an expression of a very powerful (sometimes hidden) energy.

In a negative context, they can make a character appear non-trustworthy, insect- or reptile-like, and downright evil. Characters with black eyes often have sinister intentions or something to hide.

To vary the description of black eyes you can use the following terms:

  • coal (black)
  • pitch black
  • velvety black

Best Terms for Blue Eyes

Blue eyes are quite common in most newborns, however, it often changes within 2 weeks after birth. This has lead to blue eyes being associated with youth and youthfulness, and innocence. People with blue eyes are usually described as calm and peaceful. They seem to be especially attractive to other characters, too.

In a more negative context, a character with this eye color can literally be blue-eyed, detached from reality, gullible, or even stupid.

Instead of just writing “blue eyes”, try one of these:

  • arctic blue
  • electric blue

eye color

Best Terms for Brown Eyes

Brown is the most common eye color worldwide. Brown-eyed characters are often self-confident and independent, strong and determined. They are seen as trustworthy by other characters, and as exuding an air of warmth and security.

On the other hand, a brown-eyed character can appear brutish or simple, boring, and even dumb.

There are many wonderful tones of brown you can use, such as:

Best Terms for Gray Eyes

Gray eyes are usually reserved for older characters. But they can also express wisdom and gentleness in younger characters. Usually, these characters appear to be sensitive and analytically.

On the less favorable side, gray-eyed characters are seen as bland and boring.

Consider the following descriptions when a character has gray eyes:

  • cloudy (gray)

Best Terms for Green Eyes

Usually, green eyes are seen as mysterious and given to characters that are close to nature. They are often described as curious, passionate, and generally positive and happy.

On the darker side, they are linked to jealousy or representing poison.

Different green hues can be used to describe green eyes:

  • forest green
  • olive (green)

yellow eyes

Best Terms for Other Eye Colors

Eyes that show both green and brown color are commonly called hazel eyes. People with hazel eyes are seen as spontaneous, adventurous, and competitive. The two-toned quality can also indicate mood swings, however.

Shows the eye more green color, the character can appear more mischievous. If the color leans more towards the brown side, the character appears more approachable.

Red eyes usually don’t occur naturally in humans, except for in albinism. Thus, it’s more of a fantasy color. In animals, it’s more frequent. Red eyes are often associated with courage, strength, ambition, and power. However, it’s also used to express rage and anger, a lust for revenge, and associated with dark intentions and evil.

Depending on what you want to use it for, the following terms can be used for red eyes:

Violet Eyes

Purple or violet eyes are extremely (!) rare. Thus, they fit more into a fantasy context – or if your character is using contacts. A very sophisticated and spiritual color, characters with violet eyes are often associated with royalty and riches, or divination and clairvoyance. Since it’s a very powerful color, this eye color is often used for leaders, royals, or oracles, and witches.

The following terms can be used for eyes of this color:

  • ultramarine

Usually, white eyes are considered blind. A character’s eyes turn white or are white if they are not able to see out of them (or one of them) anymore. The limitation here, however, is only measured by your creativity.

Instead of “white”, you can also use these terms:

Yellow Eyes

In animals, a yellow eye-color is quite common. Consider cats, dogs, predator birds, snakes, and the like. Thus, characters with yellow eyes are often associated or compared to a certain animal, taking over their features or characteristics.

There are a few nice term you can use to describe yellow eyes:


Of course, you have the option to give your characters two differently colored eyes. While this occurs in the natural world, heterochromia is still rare in humans. It can be used to express a duality in a person’s character. Often, these characters are seen as especially significant, mystical, magical, supernatural, or simply special.

creative writing green eyes description

creative writing green eyes description

How to describe eyes in a story: 7 simple tips

Learning how to describe eyes in a story without resorting to cliché helps set your writing apart from amateurish fiction. Many beginning authors over-rely on eye descriptions and eye color to create an impression of their characters. Here are 7 tips for talking about your characters’ eyes creatively:

  • Post author By Bridget McNulty
  • 16 Comments on How to describe eyes in a story: 7 simple tips

How to describe eyes in a story - 7 tips from Now Novel

How to write better eye descriptions:

  • Avoid fixating on eye color.
  • Make characters’ eyes contrasting or incongruous
  • Use eye description to support story development
  • Describe the eye area rather than just eye color
  • Use eyes to communicate psychology
  • Read examples of great eye descriptions from books
  • Move beyond describing eyes in your story

Let’s unpack these ideas a little:

1. Avoid fixating on eye color

How to describe characters - image of an eye

The color of a person’s eyes doesn’t tell us whether they are kind or cruel, an optimist or a pessimist. Often aspiring authors focus on the eyes more than anything else when describing characters. While this is a feature we notice (especially if a person has unusual, striking eyes), there are many other interesting facial features.

As an exercise, practice describing a character’s face . Describe their mouth, nose, brow, chin and ears. Find a simile or metaphor for each (e.g. ‘His mouth was a tight red knot.’)

One way to make eye description more interesting is to make characters’ eyes stand out in relation to character traits or other features:

2. Make characters’ eyes contrasting or incongruous

People’s appearances are often full of strange juxtapositions and contrasts. The man with the big, ruddy face might have small, delicate hands. One way to describe characters’ eyes effectively is to use them to create contrast. For example, a character who has a nervous temperament could have an intense, penetrating stare that one wouldn’t expect, given their nervous or avoidant behaviour.

3. Use eye description to support story development

One reason descriptions of novel characters’ eyes sometimes reads as cliché is because authors describe eyes apropos of nothing. ‘She smiled and looked across at him with her grey-green eyes’ reads a little awkwardly because the character’s eye color is not particularly relevant. Drawing attention to it almost detracts from the key action here – the momentary connection between two characters.

However, you can use eye description effectively at key points of character development . For example, if a character witnesses a horrific scene, their eyes might seem vacant or otherwise haunted to passersby. In Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment , when the protagonist Raskolnikov comes to see an elderly pawnbroker at an unusual time, unarranged, Dostoevksy describes the pawnbroker’s eyes to reflect the changed conditions of their interaction and the woman’s awareness of this:

‘The door was as before opened a tiny crack, and again two sharp and suspicious eyes stared at him out of the darkness.’ ( Crime and Punishment , Chapter 7)

Use adjectives that describe how a character’s eyes look to support the tone and mood of a scene, drawing attention to story developments, as Dostoevsky does. Yet don’t over-rely on adjectives to create character impressions . Let actions and words speak too.

Master Character Description

Write better character description with the help of practical exercises and videos.

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4. Describe the eye area rather than just eye color

To avoid clichéd eye descriptions, instead of describing color describe the eye area. For example, if there are bags underneath a character’s eyes this conveys tiredness and/or anxiety. Eyes that are swollen, puffy or ringed with red indicate recent emotional distress. Narrowed eyes indicate hostility or suspicion. Half-closed eyes indicate drowsiness.

When you get down to it, there are countless ways to describe eyes that show emotion and psychological state in addition to appearance. Make your eye descriptions do more work for your story.

Infographic: How to describe eyes in a story | Now Novel

5. Use eyes to communicate psychology

To follow on from the above point, think about how your eye descriptions create impressions about your characters’ temperaments and psychologies. For example, a character who blinks often might be a little nervous. On the other hand, a character who rolls her eyes often could be the cynical, ‘so over it right now’ teen.

The important thing is not to overdo eye descriptions. If a character performs an eye movement such as rolling her eyes a few times it conveys her sarcastic nature. Yet if she does this every page, it can stale quickly. Use your discretion.

6. Read examples of great eye descriptions from books

Drawing of a character's eye by Marigona Toma

It’s useful to keep a separate journal for character descriptions you love. That way, whenever you are trying to describe a character , you can page through effective descriptions and remind yourself what works.

Famous books are peppered with great eye descriptions. For example, in Crime and Punishment , Dostoevsky creates a suitably suspenseful and creepy tone when Raskolnikov’s family come to visit him at his lodgings and are watched suspiciously by the landlady as they enter:

‘[W]hen they reached the landlady’s door on the fourth storey, they noticed that her door was a tiny crack open and that two keen black eyes were watching them from the darkness within.’

The description is simple yet effective. The adjective ‘keen’ comes before the color ‘black’, as it should, being the more descriptive and informative of the two.

Although it’s not effective to simply describe eye color alone, many successful authors do describe eye color – even improbable colors as J.K. Rowling does when she describes the villain of Harry Potter , Lord Voldemort:

‘[His face was] whiter than a skull, with wide, livid scarlet eyes and a nose that was as flat as a snake’s with slits for nostrils’.

Rowling, like Dostoevsky, places the most important, emotion-conveying descriptor first. Even though Voldemort’s eyes are ‘scarlet’, a non-standard eye color, they are first described as ‘livid’, conveying immense anger appropriate to a villain.

7. Move beyond describing eyes in your story

To truly describe characters brilliantly, describe aspects of your character that are most relevant to a given scene. For example, if a character is fleeing the scene of a crime, their eye color is scarcely relevant here. But describing their body language (as they attempt to slip past passersby unnoticed) or breathing can heighten tension.

As important as it is to know how to describe eyes in a story without using cliché, it’s even more important to have rounded character description skills.

Join Now Novel to create detailed character sketches using our guided prompts. Get helpful feedback on your character descriptions from your online writing community.

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  • Tags characterisation , describing characters , writing characters , writing tips

creative writing green eyes description

By Bridget McNulty

Bridget McNulty is a published author, content strategist, writer, editor and speaker. She is the co-founder of two non-profits: Sweet Life Diabetes Community, South Africa's largest online diabetes community, and the Diabetes Alliance, a coalition of all the organisations working in diabetes in South Africa. She is also the co-founder of Now Novel: an online novel-writing course where she coaches aspiring writers to start - and finish! - their novels. Bridget believes in the power of storytelling to create meaningful change.

16 replies on “How to describe eyes in a story: 7 simple tips”

Good advice on what it is the character is looking at. I have told my listeners to do something similar in the past. Always describe what it is that the character’s five senses are telling them. You don’t have to use all of them and the sense of sight is a powerful one.

Rick Dean/Poor Richard’s Bloganac

I agree. I think the idea of watching your metaphors is also a powerful one.

This is really nice!

Thanks James!

I also have a tip. I noticed that a lot of people overuse the color of peoples eyes. They talk about how ‘ocean blue they are’ and always somehow worm the color of there ‘dazzling eyes’ into the chapter, which can be annoying, and feel a little unrealistic. It’s okay for the character to recognize how strange or beautiful another character’s eyes are, but not if it is all the time. It gets old and makes the story a little boring when all you know about the other character is the color of there eyes.

Completely agree with this, Katherine. Many writers use this in the attempt to create a sense of intimacy but it can be very cliched.

This is, hands down, the best information I’ve found on this subject! Re-Blogging on http:www.rijanks.wordpress.com

Hi Jan – thank you so much, that’s very kind. Will share your re-blog.

I like the ideas in this blog post. They’re great.

Thanks, Linda! Thank you for reading.

I want to describe a person, that can manipulate water or bend it. ( in other words, I want to describe a person with water powers.) But I don’t know how to do it professionally and smoothly, since I am not aiming to write a little fairytale about a girl with magical powers, I am trying to make it descriptive and appropriately written out, which I am very much struggling to do. I am hoping you could help me out and give me suggestion, since your advice on how to describe this subject in writing really helped me, if any viewers can give me suggestion i would very, very much appreciate it to.

Hi Prasha, Happy New Year! Thank you for your question, it sounds an interesting character power. I would say try to focus on the exact, precise detail. For example, the visual qualities of the water (the droplets, the motion, the way it reflects the light), the way your character concentrates to manipulate it (or any specific words they say that are part of executing their power over water).

Precise and specific details that describe the exact phenomena taking place will help to put your reader in the scene – movement, colour, sound. This is more impactful than, for example, if you were to just write ‘She used her powers to summon water’ as this relies more on broad, abstract ideas.

Literally never in all my years of trying to write have I seen something that is not only so in-depth as far as THE HOW of describing character features, but also expressed in a way that is completely tangible and digestible. This is essentially THE post I’ve been looking for. Outstanding. Thank you so much. -Billy

Hi Billy, thank you! I’m glad you’re finding our articles helpful and that this answered what you were looking for. Thanks for reading our blog and taking time to leave feedback.

I have a character in a book I am writing and I want to know if this is ok. “She looked over At Annika with deep blue eyes that reflected power and magic. Some people even say she was almost killed for that when she was born” (magic is outlawed)

Hi Madelyn, thank you for sharing your extract from work in progress. There are good elements here. I would suggest finding phrases that tell (for example, ‘…that reflected power and magic…’) and replacing them with words that show more (what is it about her eyes specifically that ‘reflects power and magic’? Is it something eerie or unnatural/supernatural about their colour/shape/intensity/her stare?

Keep going and good luck!

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How To Describe Eyes In Writing

How To Describe Eyes In Writing (13 Steps You Need To Know)

In the realm of storytelling, the eyes are not just windows to the soul; they are portals to a character’s deepest emotions, hidden secrets, and unique essence.

Mastering the art of describing eyes in writing is akin to wielding a magic wand, allowing writers to paint vivid and evocative portraits that resonate with readers on a profound level.

From the sparkle of excitement to the shadow of sorrow, from the intensity of desire to the weight of wisdom, the eyes are a canvas upon which emotions and character intricacies are vividly rendered.

In this exploration of “How To Describe Eyes In Writing,” we embark on a journey to unlock the secrets of crafting eye descriptions that not only engage the senses but also breathe life into characters and narratives.

Join us as we delve into the nuances of eye descriptions, from anatomy and symbolism to techniques and ethical considerations, to enhance your storytelling prowess and captivate the hearts and minds of your readers.

How to describe a smile in writing

Table of Contents

How To Describe Eyes In Writing

Describing eyes in writing can be a creative and detailed process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Observe the Eyes

Take a moment to closely observe the eyes you want to describe. Pay attention to their color, shape, and any distinctive features such as freckles, scars, or unusual patterns.

Consider the Setting

Think about the context in which you are describing the eyes. Is it a romantic scene, a suspenseful moment, or a casual observation? The setting can influence the tone and depth of your description.

Start with Color

Begin your description by mentioning the color of the eyes. Use vivid and descriptive words to convey the shade. For example, “Her eyes were a deep, emerald green.”

Shape and Size

Describe the shape and size of the eyes. Are they round, almond-shaped, or something else? Mention if they are large, small, or average in size.

Expressions and Emotions

Consider the emotions or expressions conveyed by the eyes. Are they sparkling with joy, filled with tears, or clouded with sadness? Describe how the eyes reflect the character’s feelings.

Pupils and Iris

Mention the size of the pupils and the details of the iris. You can describe the pupils as dilated with desire or constricted in bright light. Highlight any unique features of the iris, such as flecks or a ring of a different color.

Eyebrows and Eyelashes

Don’t forget to mention the eyebrows and eyelashes. Are the eyelashes long and dark, framing the eyes beautifully? Are the eyebrows well-groomed or wild and expressive?

Eye Movements

Describe any eye movements that add depth to the character’s emotions. Mention if they blink rapidly, gaze intensely, or dart nervously around.

Comparisons and Metaphors

Use similes and metaphors to create vivid imagery. Compare the eyes to elements in nature or objects that convey a particular feeling. For example, “His eyes were as deep and mysterious as the night sky.”

Light and Shadows

Consider how lighting affects the appearance of the eyes. Describe how they catch the light, shimmer, or cast shadows. Lighting can enhance the atmosphere of your description.

History or Backstory

If relevant, provide some backstory or history related to the eyes. Have they seen hardship, witnessed important events, or undergone a transformation?

Overall Impression

Sum up your description with an overall impression. How do these eyes make the observer feel? What impact do they have on the character’s appearance and personality?

Editing and Polishing

Review your description for clarity and coherence. Make sure your choice of words enhances the reader’s visualization of the eyes and aligns with the tone of your story.

Remember that the goal is to engage the reader’s imagination and create a vivid mental image. Tailor your description to the character and the narrative to make the eyes an integral part of your storytelling.

How To Describe Eyes In Writing

Understanding the Basics

Understanding the Basics of describing eyes in writing is like peering through the keyhole into the soul of your characters. Just as the eye is the window to the soul, mastering the art of depicting this intricate organ opens a portal to the very essence of your storytelling.

Delve into the fascinating anatomy of the human eye, where the iris dances with secrets, the pupil reveals the depth of emotion, and the cornea reflects the world in a thousand shimmering facets.

Learn the genetic alchemy that weaves the tapestry of eye colors, each hue an enigma waiting to be unraveled.

With these fundamentals at your fingertips, you’ll transform mundane descriptions into vivid canvases that breathe life into your characters and invite readers to journey deep into the heart of your narrative.

The anatomy of the human eye

The anatomy of the human eye is a marvel of nature’s precision and complexity. At its core, the eye is a biological masterpiece, comprised of several intricate components working in seamless harmony.

The iris, like a curtain, regulates the amount of light that enters, its unique pigmentation bestowing individuality upon each gaze.

The pupil, a minuscule portal, dilates and contracts in response to varying light conditions, mirroring the ebb and flow of emotions.

The cornea, a crystal-clear dome, refracts light, allowing the world to be painted upon the canvas of the retina.

Meanwhile, the lens flexes and focuses like a camera, ensuring that images are sharp and clear. These elements, along with many others, combine to create the breathtaking phenomenon of vision, reminding us that the human eye is not just an organ; it’s a gateway to perceiving the beauty and wonder of the world.

The science of eye colors

The science of eye colors is a captivating journey into the genetic tapestry that defines our visual uniqueness. Eye color, the result of intricate genetic interactions, is a testament to the fascinating complexities of human inheritance.

While blue, brown, green, and hazel are among the most common eye colors, the possibilities are nearly endless, with variations and shades that make each individual’s eyes as distinctive as their fingerprints.

This intricate dance of genetics involves multiple genes, such as OCA2 and HERC2, which determine the type and amount of pigments in the iris. Environmental factors can also influence the final hue.

The science of eye colors not only unveils the mystery behind our gaze but also highlights the intricate symphony of our DNA, reminding us that even in the realm of genetics, diversity reigns supreme.

How To Describe Eyes In Writing

The Power of Vivid Imagery

The Power of Vivid Imagery in writing is the literary equivalent of a painter’s brushstroke on the canvas of the reader’s mind.

It’s the sorcerer’s incantation that summons the story to life, transforming mundane words into an exhilarating sensory experience.

With the deft strokes of metaphor and the careful selection of adjectives, writers have the power to transport readers into the heart of their narrative.

It’s a symphony of the senses where readers can not only see the world but taste its colors, smell its emotions, and touch the intangible.

Vivid imagery is the key that unlocks the door to a realm where words cease to be mere symbols; they become a portal to a universe where imagination reigns supreme, and stories take on a life of their own.

The role of sensory language in eye descriptions

The role of sensory language in eye descriptions is akin to weaving a tapestry of perception that envelops the reader in a multisensory experience.

It’s the subtle art of not just telling the reader about the eyes but allowing them to feel the world through them.

With the right choice of words, a writer can make eyes shimmer like polished emeralds, glint with the warmth of a summer sunset, or smolder like the depths of a midnight abyss.

Sensory language invites readers to not only visualize but also feel the texture of an iris, hear the whispers hidden in a gaze, and even taste the emotions concealed behind a blink.

It’s a literary alchemy that elevates eye descriptions from mere visuals to a symphony of sensations, fostering a profound connection between the reader and the characters they encounter on the page.

Painting a picture with words: similes and metaphors

Painting a picture with words through similes and metaphors is akin to wielding a magic brush that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary in the realm of literature.

Similes are the luminescent stars that twinkle in the night sky of prose, likening one element to another, allowing readers to see, feel, and understand the subject in a whole new light.

Metaphors, on the other hand, are the bold strokes of genius that bridge the gap between two seemingly unrelated entities, creating a fusion of ideas that dances on the canvas of the imagination.

Together, these literary devices breathe life into the written word, turning mundane descriptions into vibrant, living portraits.

They are the language of the poet, the voice of the storyteller, and the enchantment that beckons readers to immerse themselves in the vivid landscapes of the writer’s creation, where words transcend their literal meanings and become a tapestry of wonder.

Selecting the right adjectives to enhance visual impact

Selecting the right adjectives to enhance visual impact in writing is akin to choosing the perfect brush strokes for a masterpiece.

It’s about meticulously curating a palette of words that will color the reader’s imagination with vivid and evocative images.

The selection of adjectives is more than just embellishment; it’s the essence of storytelling. A well-chosen adjective can transform a simple “blue eye” into a “deep sapphire gaze,” instantly conjuring a more vivid and nuanced picture.

The art lies not only in choosing descriptive words but in understanding their power to evoke emotions and resonate with the reader’s senses.

When wielded adeptly, adjectives breathe life into characters, landscapes, and scenes, allowing readers to not only see but also experience the narrative in all its rich and immersive detail.

Beyond Physical Appearance

Beyond physical appearance lies the enigmatic realm of character depth and storytelling magic. In the world of writing, eyes are not just windows to the soul; they are mirrors reflecting the intricate layers of a character’s psyche.

They bear witness to inner storms and quiet victories, revealing secrets that words alone cannot express. Beyond the hue and shape, eyes carry the weight of history, the scars of experience, and the dreams of the future.

They are the silent narrators of a character’s journey, conveying courage, vulnerability, love, and longing with the subtlest of glances.

When a writer delves beyond physical appearance and explores the profound narrative potential within a character’s eyes, storytelling transcends the superficial, inviting readers on an emotional odyssey that lingers long after the final page is turned.

Reflecting emotions and personality through the eyes

Reflecting emotions and personality through the eyes is a poetic dance of revelation in storytelling.

The eyes are the windows through which the heart and soul’s myriad hues spill forth. In their depths, we find the silent poetry of love, the tempestuous storms of anger, the shimmering oceans of sadness, and the radiant sunrises of joy.

They can be smoldering with mystery, sparkling with mischief, or harboring the wisdom of ages. A character’s eyes not only mirror their emotions but also serve as portals to their inner world, offering readers an intimate glimpse into their fears, desires, and aspirations.

The flicker of a gaze, the quiver of a lid, or the steadiness of a stare can reveal more about a character’s personality than pages of exposition ever could.

When words alone fall short, it is in the eyes that the true essence of a character is unveiled, creating an indelible connection between the reader and the narrative.

How To Describe Eyes In Writing

Symbolism and cultural nuances associated with eyes

Symbolism and cultural nuances associated with eyes form a rich tapestry of meaning that transcends linguistic and geographical boundaries.

Across cultures, eyes have been endowed with profound symbolism, serving as metaphors for enlightenment, knowledge, and perception. In the East, the “third eye” is a symbol of spiritual insight and higher consciousness, often depicted as an inner eye that sees beyond the physical realm.

Conversely, in Western literature and art, the “evil eye” represents malevolent intent and the power to curse. In Native American cultures, the concept of the “eye of the heart” is revered as a source of intuition and emotional understanding.

Eyes are also deeply intertwined with cultural expressions of beauty and aesthetics, influencing practices such as makeup, adornment, and body language.

Understanding the symbolic weight and cultural nuances associated with eyes is essential for writers, as it adds depth and authenticity to character development, and offers readers a gateway into the rich tapestry of human beliefs and traditions.

Creating depth through character development

Creating depth through character development is the alchemy that transforms ink and paper into living, breathing individuals within the world of a story.

It’s the process of infusing characters with the complexities of real human beings: their hopes, fears, contradictions, and aspirations. Just as in life, a character’s journey is not solely defined by their actions but by their inner struggles, moral dilemmas, and personal growth.

It’s about crafting characters who evolve, learn, and change, driven by desires and haunted by flaws. Readers are drawn into a story not just by its plot but by the emotional resonance of its characters.

In their depth, we find empathy, connection, and a mirror reflecting our own humanity. Writers who master the art of character development breathe life into their stories, inviting readers to embark on an intimate and unforgettable voyage through the hearts and minds of their literary creations.

Examples from famous literature

Examples from famous literature illuminate the enduring power of vivid eye descriptions. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” the enigmatic eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg, looming over the Valley of Ashes, become a haunting symbol of moral decay and the watchful gaze of a judgmental society.

J.K. Rowling masterfully employs eye descriptions in the “Harry Potter” series, with Voldemort’s crimson, snake-like eyes serving as a chilling emblem of his malevolence. In “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, the haunting description of Boo Radley’s reclusive eyes through the eyes of Scout and Jem encapsulates the novel’s themes of innocence, prejudice, and compassion.

These literary examples showcase how authors harness the evocative potential of eye descriptions to enrich their narratives and create lasting impressions in the minds of readers, demonstrating that the eyes are not just organs but windows to the soul of a story.

Techniques for Effective Eye Descriptions

Techniques for effective eye descriptions are the secret incantations of the literary sorcerer, unlocking the deepest emotions and hidden depths of characters.

They’re the whispers that beckon readers into the intimate recesses of a character’s soul. From the choice of perspective, whether first-person intimacy or third-person observance, to the art of gradual revelation, where each detail is a breadcrumb leading to greater understanding, these techniques are the keys to creating memorable eye descriptions.

They allow writers to unveil secrets, convey emotions, and even advance the plot, all through the silent language of the eyes.

In the hands of a skilled wordsmith, these techniques transcend mere physical descriptions, forging a profound connection between the reader and the characters, leaving an indelible mark on the narrative and a lasting impression on the reader’s heart.

How To Describe Eyes In Writing

First-person vs. third-person perspectives

The choice between first-person and third-person perspectives in writing is akin to selecting the lens through which the reader experiences a story.

First-person perspective immerses readers deep within the psyche of a singular character, providing an intimate and immediate connection with their thoughts, emotions, and perceptions.

It’s a direct line to the character’s inner world, offering authenticity and empathy. In contrast, third-person perspective provides a panoramic view, offering insights into multiple characters’ thoughts and actions while maintaining a degree of narrative distance.

It grants writers the ability to build a complex, multifaceted world, weaving together the stories of various characters.

The choice between these perspectives is a strategic decision, each offering unique advantages and challenges, but both capable of crafting rich and compelling narratives that resonate with readers on different levels.

Incorporating eye descriptions into action scenes

Incorporating eye descriptions into action scenes is like adding a layer of visceral intensity to the narrative canvas.

When characters are caught in the throes of high-stakes moments, their eyes become windows into their determination, fear, or resolve.

Whether it’s the glint of a hero’s unwavering resolve or the widening of a villain’s malevolent gaze, eye descriptions can amplify the tension and emotion of the scene.

Readers, in these moments, are not just spectators but active participants, experiencing the adrenaline rush and emotional turmoil alongside the characters.

The subtle details of clenched lids, darting glances, or pupils dilated in shock can serve as powerful markers of a character’s internal state, allowing writers to convey depth and nuance even in the most action-packed sequences.

In the whirlwind of chaos, the eyes offer readers a grounding point, a profound insight into the characters’ humanity amidst the chaos.

Crafting Memorable Characters

Crafting memorable characters is akin to sculpting timeless works of art from the clay of imagination. It’s a delicate dance of inspiration and intention, where writers breathe life into their literary creations.

These characters are not merely ink and paper; they are the embodiment of dreams, fears, and aspirations. They carry the weight of their past and the promise of their future, and through their struggles, triumphs, and vulnerabilities, they beckon readers to walk beside them on the intricate journey of the narrative.

Like chameleons, they adapt and evolve, revealing facets of their personalities with every turn of the page, forging connections that endure long after the story ends.

In the alchemy of character crafting, writers wield the power to change lives, challenge perspectives, and ignite imaginations, leaving an indelible mark on the literary landscape and the hearts of readers.

Developing a character’s backstory through their eyes

Developing a character’s backstory through their eyes is a subtle art of storytelling, akin to tracing the lines of history etched into a person’s gaze.

Eyes, like ancient manuscripts, hold secrets and chapters of the past that can be unveiled to enrich a character’s narrative.

The subtle flicker of sorrow in their gaze might hint at a childhood loss, while the spark of determination may reveal a lifetime of challenges overcome.

The eyes can be a portal to the character’s memories, showcasing scars, joys, and sorrows that have shaped them into who they are today.

In this intricate dance of character development, writers weave the threads of past experiences into the tapestry of the present, creating a character with depth, resonance, and a compelling backstory that resonates with readers on a profound level.

Conveying inner turmoil, secrets, and hidden agendas

Conveying inner turmoil, secrets, and hidden agendas through a character’s eyes is a mesmerizing act of literary intrigue.

The eyes become a canvas of emotions and unspoken truths, reflecting the turbulence within. A character’s gaze may betray the weight of unshared burdens, the flicker of a concealed motive, or the torment of a carefully guarded secret.

In their depths, we witness the swirling storms of inner conflict, the silent battles of conscience, and the enigmatic web of desires left unspoken.

The eyes are the storyteller’s most potent instrument, revealing the complex layers of human nature that lie beneath the surface.

As writers master the art of portraying these inner landscapes through the eyes, they invite readers to become detectives, deciphering the mysteries and unraveling the hidden depths of their characters, forging an unbreakable bond between reader and narrative.

Evoking empathy and reader connection

Evoking empathy and reader connection through a character’s eyes is akin to forging an unspoken pact between writer and reader, where the boundaries of the page dissolve, and hearts converge in understanding.

The eyes, often described as the windows to the soul, become the bridge between worlds. When a character’s eyes reflect their vulnerabilities, hopes, and fears, readers can’t help but see a reflection of themselves.

It’s in those moments of shared humanity, when readers recognize their own struggles, joys, and imperfections mirrored in the characters’ gaze, that a deep and enduring connection is formed.

Through the artful depiction of eyes, writers invite readers not just to witness a story but to experience it intimately, forging bonds that transcend fiction and make the characters’ journey their own.

How To Describe Eyes In Writing

Case Studies

Case studies are like literary treasure maps, guiding us through the intricate labyrinth of storytelling with the wisdom gleaned from the literary masters who’ve walked the path before us.

They are the vibrant tapestries woven from the threads of imagination and inspiration, showcasing the brilliance of writers who’ve dared to push the boundaries of the written word.

These captivating narratives dissect the anatomy of storytelling, revealing the nuances of character development, plot twists, and thematic resonance with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel.

Through case studies, we delve into the hearts and minds of unforgettable characters, witnessing their trials, tribulations, and triumphs.

These explorations of literary excellence are not just academic exercises; they are invitations to embark on intellectual adventures, fueling our own creative fires and inspiring us to craft our own masterpieces.

Analyzing notable examples from literature

Analyzing notable examples from literature is akin to entering a hallowed hall of mirrors, where each reflection reveals a different facet of the storytelling gem.

It’s a journey of literary excavation, where we unearth the treasures hidden within the words of the great authors who have shaped the canon of literature.

Through the careful dissection of these masterpieces, we uncover the secrets of character development, narrative structure, and thematic depth.

These notable examples are not just stories; they are living classrooms, offering profound insights into the human condition, cultural nuances, and the enduring power of the written word.

As we analyze these literary gems, we become not only readers but also scholars, peering behind the curtain of the author’s intentions and craftsmanship, and in doing so, we enrich our own understanding of the art of storytelling.

Deconstructing successful eye descriptions

Deconstructing successful eye descriptions is like unraveling a finely woven tapestry, revealing the intricate threads that make them shine.

It’s a detective’s quest, a literary adventure into the art of crafting evocative imagery. By dissecting these descriptions, we uncover the secrets of metaphor, simile, and the precise selection of adjectives that breathe life into the eyes on the page.

We observe how authors employ sensory language to create an immersive experience and build emotional connections between the characters and readers.

Successful eye descriptions aren’t just words on paper; they are living expressions of the characters’ inner worlds, windows into their emotions, and vehicles for conveying themes and subtext.

Deconstruction unveils the alchemy of storytelling, inviting us to peer beyond the surface and learn from the masters who’ve mastered the craft of describing eyes with brilliance and resonance.

Discussing the impact of eye descriptions on plot and character development

Discussing the impact of eye descriptions on plot and character development reveals the profound influence that seemingly subtle details can have on the entire narrative landscape.

Eyes, as conduits of emotion and intention, hold the power to shape the trajectory of a story. The way characters perceive the world, the motives they hide or reveal through their gazes, and the evolving dynamics between them, all pivot around the descriptions of their eyes.

These visual cues become signposts in the reader’s journey, foreshadowing plot twists, revealing hidden agendas, and enriching the tapestry of interpersonal relationships.

By delving into the impact of eye descriptions, we uncover how the nuances of a character’s gaze can be pivotal turning points or subtle undercurrents that drive the narrative forward, creating a symbiotic relationship between the characters’ eyes and the unfolding story.

Ethical Considerations

Ethical considerations in writing are the compass that guides us through the labyrinth of creativity, ensuring that our words bear the weight of responsibility and respect for diverse voices and perspectives.

It’s the moral anchor that reminds us that storytelling is not just an act of creation but also a reflection of our values and beliefs.

With every word we craft, we have the power to influence, inspire, or perpetuate harmful stereotypes. Ethical considerations challenge us to be conscious of cultural sensitivities, to embrace diversity, and to question our biases.

They prompt us to portray characters authentically, to avoid reducing them to caricatures, and to acknowledge the lived experiences of others.

In the realm of storytelling, ethics are not constraints but catalysts for thoughtfulness and empathy, reminding us that our words have the potential to shape minds, hearts, and even societies.

Avoiding stereotypes and clichés in eye descriptions

Avoiding stereotypes and clichés in eye descriptions is the hallmark of a discerning writer who refuses to settle for the ordinary.

Stereotypes, like overused tropes, can flatten characters into one-dimensional caricatures, robbing them of their authenticity and depth. In the world of eye descriptions, this means shunning tired clichés like “eyes as deep as the ocean” or “eyes that sparkle like stars,” and instead, embracing the unique nuances of each character’s gaze.

It’s about understanding that every pair of eyes tells a distinctive story, and it’s our duty as writers to do justice to that complexity.

By avoiding stereotypes and clichés, we honor the diversity of human experiences, allowing our characters to emerge as multifaceted beings with eyes that reflect the intricacies of their personalities, histories, and emotions.

The Revision Process

The revision process is the writer’s metamorphosis, where the raw ore of first drafts undergoes a refining fire to emerge as polished gems of storytelling.

It’s an act of alchemy, where words are transmuted into art. Like a sculptor chiseling away at a block of marble, the writer sculpts and reshapes sentences and paragraphs until they gleam with clarity and purpose.

It’s a dance of introspection and innovation, where each word is scrutinized, each scene dissected, and every character’s gaze scrutinized.

Through this meticulous process, the narrative deepens, characters grow more nuanced, and themes resonate more profoundly.

The revision process is where the magic happens, where a story is transformed from a rough sketch into a masterpiece, and where the writer’s dedication to craft shines brightest.

The importance of revising eye descriptions

The importance of revising eye descriptions in writing cannot be overstated. Just as a painter perfects each brushstroke to capture the essence of their subject, writers must refine and fine-tune their eye descriptions to encapsulate the true spirit of their characters. Revisions allow us to peel away layers of superficiality, to dive deeper into a character’s soul, and to ensure that each adjective, metaphor, and simile resonates with precision and impact.

Eye descriptions, being windows to a character’s emotions and personality, are powerful tools for reader engagement.

Through revision, we can evoke greater empathy, reveal hidden layers of complexity, and convey subtle shifts in mood or motive.

Ultimately, the well-revised eye description has the potential to transform a character from a mere figure on the page into a living, breathing entity that lingers in the reader’s mind long after the story has ended.

Fine-tuning eye descriptions for maximum effect

Fine-tuning eye descriptions for maximum effect is the writer’s quest for poetic precision and emotional resonance. It’s about sharpening the focus, like a photographer adjusting the lens for the perfect shot, until every detail is vivid and every emotion palpable.

Each word, each phrase, becomes a brushstroke on the canvas of the reader’s mind, painting a portrait that lingers in memory. It’s in the subtle nuances, the delicate balance of adjectives, and the cadence of the prose that we achieve the greatest impact.

Fine-tuning isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about conveying the character’s essence, their struggles and dreams, their history and destiny, all through the silent language of their eyes.

It’s in the meticulous revision of eye descriptions that we elevate them from mere words on a page to powerful conduits of connection, drawing readers into the heart of the narrative with every gaze, every flicker, and every unspoken emotion.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about How To Describe Eyes In Writing

How can i make my eye descriptions more captivating and unique.

To make your eye descriptions stand out, try to use unconventional comparisons and metaphors. Think beyond the typical “deep as the ocean” and experiment with unexpected analogies that suit your character or setting.

Should I focus on physical details or emotions when describing eyes?

Both physical details and emotions are important. Combining them can create a well-rounded description. Describe the physical characteristics first, and then delve into how those eyes reflect the character’s emotions or inner world.

Can you provide examples of how to describe unusual eye colors?

Certainly! For instance, describe violet eyes as “a shade between twilight and a pansy,” or golden eyes as “gleaming like molten honey under the sun.”

How can I describe eyes in a way that reveals a character’s backstory?

You can reveal a character’s backstory through their eyes by mentioning scars, wrinkles, or a haunted look that hints at past experiences. For example, “Her eyes held the weight of years gone by, etched with lines of wisdom and sorrow.”

What’s the best way to describe eyes in a suspenseful or mysterious scene?

In suspenseful scenes, focus on the intensity and movement of the eyes. Mention how they dart around, widen in fear, or narrow in suspicion. Describe them as “searching for answers in the shadows” or “hiding secrets behind a veil of uncertainty.”

Can I use the eyes to foreshadow events in my story?

Yes, eyes can be a subtle tool for foreshadowing. Describe them in a way that hints at what’s to come. For instance, you can mention “a glint of mischief” if a character is planning something mischievous.

How can I describe eyes in a romantic context without being cliché?

To describe eyes in a romantic context without clichés, focus on the unique qualities of the eyes and how they captivate the other person. Mention details like “their eyes met like two stars colliding in the night sky,” instead of using overused comparisons like “lost in their gaze.”

Is it essential to describe every detail of a character’s eyes?

No, it’s not necessary to describe every detail. Select the most significant and relevant details that contribute to the character’s depth or the story’s atmosphere. Less can often be more effective.

How can I convey a character’s change in emotions through their eyes during a dialogue scene?

Use eye descriptions in conjunction with dialogue tags and actions to convey emotions. For example, “Her eyes brightened with excitement as she exclaimed…” or “His eyes hardened with resolve as he responded…”

Can I use eyes to symbolize themes in my story?

Absolutely. Eyes can symbolize themes such as insight, deception, or connection. Describe them in a way that aligns with your story’s themes to add depth and symbolism.

Remember, the key to effective eye descriptions is to tailor them to your characters, plot, and the emotions you want to convey, and to keep your writing fresh and engaging.

In the art of storytelling, the eyes have proven time and again to be powerful conduits of emotion, character depth, and narrative resonance.

As we conclude our exploration of “How To Describe Eyes In Writing,” we find ourselves equipped with the tools and insights to transform mere descriptions into vivid canvases that captivate and engage readers.

We’ve navigated the intricate terrain of sensory language, metaphors, and character development, and delved into the realm of symbolism and cultural nuances.

We’ve also pondered the ethical dimensions of our craft, striving to represent diverse perspectives with sensitivity and respect.

Whether crafting eyes that shimmer with mystery, smolder with intensity, or glisten with vulnerability, the art of describing eyes allows us to leave an indelible mark on the tapestry of storytelling.

As we continue our literary journeys, may our newfound understanding of this subtle yet profound aspect of character portrayal enhance our storytelling prowess, leaving readers both enthralled and moved by the vivid worlds we create through the gaze of our characters.

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Writing nightmare scenes is like painting with the darkest shades of imagination, crafting eerie landscapes and unsettling scenarios that plunge readers into a world of chilling and often surreal terrors. These scenes are not just for the horror genre but can be potent tools in any writer’s toolkit, adding depth, intensity, and psychological intrigue to…

How To Describe Being Cold In Writing (11 Best Ways)

How To Describe Being Cold In Writing (11 Best Ways)

Introducing the art of describing the sensation of cold in writing is an exploration of the literary palette, where words transform into winter’s breath and emotions crystallize into frosty landscapes. In the world of storytelling, mastering the art of conveying the palpable chill of a frigid day or the bone-deep shivers of a character is…

How To Describe Mountains In Writing (12 Steps You Need To Know)

How To Describe Mountains In Writing (12 Steps You Need To Know)

Describing mountains in writing is an art as ancient as the peaks themselves, a craft that beckons writers to evoke the grandeur and mystique of these colossal natural wonders. Mountains stand as sentinels of time, their rugged contours and towering summits carrying tales of epochs past. They are living entities, resonating with the whispers of…

How To Describe Death Scenes In Writing (12 Steps You Need To Know)

How To Describe Death Scenes In Writing (12 Steps You Need To Know)

Writing a death scene is a delicate yet potent art form within the realm of storytelling. It is a pivotal moment where emotions run high, and the narrative takes a dramatic turn. Crafting a death scene that resonates with readers requires a skillful blend of character development, plot consideration, and emotional depth. In this exploration…

How To Describe A Depression In Writing (14 Steps You Need To Know)

How To Describe A Depression In Writing (14 Steps You Need To Know)

Describing depression in writing is an intricate and deeply empathetic endeavor, akin to unraveling the most enigmatic corners of the human soul through the alchemy of words. It is a journey that challenges the writer to navigate the labyrinthine depths of emotion, to give voice to the silent struggles within, and to illuminate the often-invisible…

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How To Describe Green Eyes – Quotes & Compliments

Welcome to our blog post all about the mesmerizing beauty of green eyes! If you have been blessed with this rare and enchanting eye color, then get ready to embrace your uniqueness. Green eyes are often associated with mystery, allure, and a touch of magic. Whether you have emerald green or mossy green eyes, there is no denying their captivating charm.

In this article, we will dive into what makes green eyes so special, share some famous quotes that celebrate their splendor, provide compliments for those who possess them, explore poetic ways to describe them, offer makeup tips for enhancing their brilliance, and wrap it all up with a meaningful conclusion. So sit back and let’s embark on a journey celebrating the dazzling beauty of green eyes!

Table of Contents

What Makes Green Eyes Unique?

Green eyes are truly captivating and unique, standing out from the crowd with their mesmerizing hue. One of the reasons that make green eyes so special is their rarity. Only around 2% of the world’s population has this eye color, making it a true gem. Not only are green eyes rare, but they also possess an intriguing quality. The shade of green can vary from person to person, ranging from a light minty tone to a deep emerald hue. This variation adds depth and mystery to each individual who possesses these enchanting eyes. Another factor that sets green eyes apart is their ability to change color depending on lighting and surroundings. They can appear more vibrant or muted depending on the environment, adding an element of unpredictability and allure.

Famous Quotes About Green Eyes

Green eyes have an enchanting allure that has captivated artists, writers, and romantics for centuries. Many famous personalities have waxed poetic about the beauty of green eyes, leaving us with a treasure trove of inspiring quotes. Here are a few gems: 1. “Her eyes were as green as emeralds, shimmering like the leaves on a summer day.” – Unknown 2. “Green-eyed people are passionate souls who possess an innate sense of mystery and depth.” – Elizabeth Taylor 3. “In those jade orbs lies a world full of secrets waiting to be discovered.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald 4. “He had eyes that spoke volumes without uttering a single word – deep pools of verdant wisdom.” – Atticus Poetry 5. “The color green is nature’s masterpiece, and in your eyes I find solace in its perfection.” – Unknown 6. “Your gaze holds me captive, like being lost in the depths of an emerald sea.” – Pablo Neruda

Green Eyes Quotes and Compliments

1. “Your green eyes are like emeralds, precious and rare.”

2. “In your eyes, I see the beauty of a lush, vibrant forest.”

3. “Green eyes are a window to a world of enchantment.”

4. “Your gaze is as refreshing as a spring morning.”

5. “There’s a sense of mystery in the depths of your green eyes.”

creative writing green eyes description

Sharon Adisa is a content writer with expertise in relationship and life philosophy. She is knowledgeable in various areas of human relationships, including family dynamics, romantic relationships, friendships, and workplace relationships.

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creative writing green eyes description

Eye Description Generator – Reveal over 70,000 eye description to make your character fascinating

Eyes are the windows to the soul, or so they say. If you’re looking for fresh ideas for the eye colour, shape, and mood of your character’s eyes, then try this eye description generator. Perfect to give inspiration to creative writers, be it for writing novels, short story or poetry. This tool generates character details to help with your book.

Welcome to the Eye Description Generator

As authors and writers, we’re always looking for new and interesting ways to describe our characters and keep our language fresh. This little tool will give you a jolt of inspiration, to picture your character and their appearance in a variety of different way.

Here you will find over 70,000 eye descriptions . Use these rich words to help discover new characters for your fiction. All you have to do is press refresh to get another description. Why not use these ideas to help write a new flash fiction?

Eyes description generator

With each random roll of the eye description generator, you will find something new. Some eyes descriptions will sound like fantasy, some like hot romance, others like cosy mystery. And yes, some will sound down right bizarre. It’s a computer, not an artist! Just quick Fresh again until you find the perfect pair of eyes.

Do you have any other fiction generators?

If you found this useful, you might also want to try the character generator , and the Six Word Wonder generator .

What is the eye description generator and how does it work?

The eye description generator takes words that describe a person or characters eyes and mixes them together in random, new ways. This can be the color, shape, mood or emotion seen in their eyes. You get a real sense of the looks of a new character to help with your creative prose. Writing is all about using details to create a world. Each description gives you new detail to help flesh out your character.

The tool has access to a database of eye descriptors and randomly throws them together. As a result, the appearance descriptions will sometimes seem odd or unhelpful. The best way is to keep refreshing the description until you find an eye description that works for your story or character.

Of course, you could just read a long list of adjectives, but this tool helps you look on words with fresh eyes.

If you are more stimulated by images, why not scroll through thousands of interesting eyes ?

What examples are there of output from the eye description generator?

Here’s a few examples of descriptions thrown up by the random, artificial intelligence of the eye description generator.

This character has long lashed, elephant grey eyes.

I love the poetic meeting of the long-lashed with elephant grey. Reminds we of Dumbo.

This character has shimmering, ice blue eyes.

What could be a better description of Daniel Craig’s eyes?

This character has sunken, concrete grey eyes.

The imagery of sunken concrete really gets me with this one. This strikes me as a heartless beast of a character.

This character has feline, chocolate brown eyes

Sounds like the lover in a particularly steamy romance

This character has squinty, fog grey eyes.

I immediately picture an old, confused granddad, working on some crazy inventions.

Should I just copy and paste one of these descriptions into my story?

You can take one of these descriptions and add it to your story. But… My recommendation is to look at many descriptions and cherry-pick your favourite elements. And use this to trigger other ideas about the type of character. With those eyes, what would their hair be like, or their personality. What about their age?

Are these descriptions from the eye description generator free to use?

Yes. Go for it. It’s great to receive credit or a link back if you enjoy using the tool. But the tool is completely free for you to enjoy.

Eye description generator

List of 200 characters from the eye description generator.

To save you the trouble of hitting refresh, I’ve listed out two hundred different characters from the eye description generator and their eye descriptions.

Enough of the eye description generator – what’s next?

If you find an ideal description for you characters eyes, feel free to share it in the comments and what imagery it brings to your mind.

I have built a few other tools to help authors and writers bring new life to their stories. Enjoy them.

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This character has sorrowful, muddy brown eyes.

This character has bloodshot, red-raw eyes.

This character has penetrating, cork brown eyes.

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  • How to describe eyes in writing?

How to write eyes in creative writing?

Eyes are an important part of a person’s appearance and can convey a wide range of emotions and expressions. I am sharing with you, some of the ideas and you can use these in describing eyes in creative writing.

  • Color of eyes
  • Shape of eyes
  • Size of eyes
  • Feelings while looking at the eyes
  • Psychological Mode of eyes like Humble, Loving, Caring, Harmful
  • Sparkle with joy
  • showing warmth
  • showing kindness
  • revealing sadness
  • revealing pain.
  • Crying is full of sorrow etc
  • narrowing with suspicion
  • Eyes searching for someone loving
  • widening in surprise.
  • Eyes like a hawk”
  • Eyes are full of energy like a moon
  • “Eyes that twinkle like stars.”

Examples of describing eyes in writing

  • “Robert’s eyes were a warm golden brown color, and there was a hint of mischief in them.
  • They had eyes that seemed to be full of humor and good spirits.”
  • They were the kind of eyes that seemed to wonder and be interested in the world.”
  • They were the kind of eyes that looked out at the world as if they knew what was going on.”
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were as bright as the sun in the morning. They sparkled with intelligence and interest.”
  • “Robert’s eyes were intense and piercing. They were a deep blue that seemed to look right through you.
  • They had eyes that could see right into your thoughts.”
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were big and innocent, and they were framed by long, dark lashes that looked like a curtain.
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were a beautiful shade of emerald green and were framed by long, thick lashes.”
  • “Robert’s eyes were bloodshot and tired because he had worked all night.”
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were like a mirror; they showed how everyone else felt.”
  • “Robert’s eyes were as cold and hard as two ice chips.”
  • “Elizabeth’s big, round eyes were like two saucers.”
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were a deep, soulful brown with tiny gold flecks that seemed to move when the light hit them.
  • They were nice and gentle, and they seemed to understand me perfectly.”
  • “Robert’s eyes were a soft, misty grey, like a morning fog.”
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were a deep, rich green with sparkling gold spots.
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were almond-shaped, and her dark eyebrows framed them. This made her look mysterious and foreign.”
  • “Robert’s eyes were hazel, and depending on the light, they changed from green to brown.”
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were golden brown and shone like two coins.”
  • “Robert’s eyes were deep-set and dark, which made him look serious and moody.”
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were so sharp and clear that it seemed like she could see right through him.”
  • “Robert’s eyes were as clear and cool as a mountain lake on a sunny day.”
  • “Robert’s eyes were dark and stormy, like the ocean on a rough day.”
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were a dark chocolate brown and were full of kindness and warmth.”
  • “Robert’s eyes were so sharp they cut through the air like two lasers.”
  • “Robert’s eyes were small and hooded, and he was always looking around him.”
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were electric blue and bright, full of life and energy.”
  • “Elizabeth’s eyes were a warm amber color, like a glowing ember in a fireplace.”
  • “Robert’s eyes were small and beady, constantly darting around as if searching for something.”

More Examples of Creative Writing

  • How to describe a situation in writing
  • How to describe crying in writing?
  • How to describe fighting in writing?
  • How to describe clothing in writing?
  • How to describe death in writing?
  • How to describe depression in writing?
  • How to describe “falling in love” in writing?
  • How to describe fear in writing?
  • How to describe voice in writing?
  • How to Describes Eyes in Writing?

100+ Examples of describing in Creative Writing

Related posts:.


20 of the Best Words to Describe Eyes, Windows to the Soul

By: Author Hiuyan Lam

Posted on Last updated: October 20, 2023

Categories Vocabulary Boosters

20 of the Best Words to Describe Eyes, Windows to the Soul

When writing or talking about eyes, you’re going to have to describe them because it is inevitable. Most people will stick to describing eyes by color, but that is positively boring and too common.

There are better words to describe eyes that you can use, and they are not too difficult to put into your writing. For your next writing assignment, you can use some of the following words to describe eyes below.

Words to describe eyes: for blue eyes

Macro photography of a snow flake

For green eyes

Portrait photography of a woman leaves eyes

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  It doesn’t seem difficult at all to describe any color of eyes, and it shouldn’t be.   Whether you have a limited scope of English or a wide one, there are some simple words to describe eyes that you can use for a more detailed description of someone. You can use any of these examples above for inspiration.  

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What Do Green Eyes Symbolize?

Last Updated: July 31, 2023 Fact Checked

  • “Green-Eyed” Meaning
  • Green Eyes Symbolism
  • Green Eyes & Personality

Fun Facts About Green Eyes

This article was co-authored by wikiHow staff writer, Aly Rusciano . Aly Rusciano is a Creative Writer based outside of Nashville, Tennessee. She has over ten years of experience in creative, academic, and professional writing. Aly’s writing has been nationally recognized in the Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle and featured in Blue Marble Review, The Sunshine Review, PopMatters, and Cathartic Literary Magazine. She graduated from The University of Tennessee at Martin with a BA in English, focusing in Creative Writing and minoring in Theatre. There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 4,484 times. Learn more...

Green eyes sure are mesmerizing—aren’t they? The bright, emerald color is a sight to behold; it’s no wonder the eye color has captivated writers and artists for centuries. Green eyes have become a familiar motif across literature and art since the beginning of time, but why? In this article, we’ll explore all the meanings of green eyes and interesting facts as to why they’re so alluring. So, whether you have green eyes or not, keep reading—we’re sure you’ll learn something new.

Things You Should Know

  • When someone is “green-eyed,” they’re likely jealous or full of envy.
  • Green eyes are often features of mysterious, envious, and wicked characters.
  • In folklore, green eyes represent beauty, mystery, and wisdom.

What does it mean to be “green-eyed”?

If someone’s “green-eyed,” they’re full of envy.

  • For example, you may hear someone say, “He’s becoming a green-eyed monster” when referring to someone acting on jealousy.
  • William Shakespeare became the first to associate green eyes with jealousy in The Merchant of Venice : “And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy!” However, the phrase was first coined later in Othello : “O beware, my lord, of jealousy; It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”

What do green eyes symbolize?

Step 1 Green eyes symbolize jealousy.

  • This symbol likely originated from the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche. In the tale, Cupid is overcome with jealousy and turns into a monster with green eyes. [2] X Research source
  • In modern pop culture, Disney’s Rapunzel and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter both have green eyes. These characters may not outwardly present envious feelings, but they long for something outside their tower and cupboard under the stairs. Subconsciously, they’re envious of a life they don’t have.

Step 2 Green eyes are a symbol of beauty.

  • For example, Dante writes of a girl named Beatrice in Convivio and The Divine Comedy . Beatrice is described as having green eyes that reflect the hope and beauty of the heavens. [3] X Research source
  • In Greek mythology, Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, is believed to have green eyes.

Step 3 Green eyes may be considered evil.

  • For instance, Marvel’s Loki, the God of Mischief, and Disney’s villain Scar have green eyes.
  • The Wizard of Oz ’s Wicked Witch of the West has green skin.
  • During the Salem witch trials in 1692, people believed that green eyes were the mark of a witch.

Step 4 Green eyes are indicative of mystical intelligence or psychic powers.

  • In Ancient Greece, many believed those born with green eyes were destined to be inventors and could see past lies.

What do green eyes say about your personality?

If you have green eyes, you’re likely creative and passionate.

  • Melanin is a complex polymer that gives skin, eyes, and hair pigment. The substance absorbs UV rays to protect your cells from sun damage. [7] X Trustworthy Source Cleveland Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source

Step 4 Green eyes can develop after birth.

Expert Q&A

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  • ↑ https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/green-eyed
  • ↑ https://londnr.com/green-eyes-myths-migration-and-melanin/
  • ↑ https://voegelinview.com/following-the-gaze-beatrices-eyes-and-beauty-in-the-divine-comedy/#_edn14
  • ↑ https://www.worldatlas.com/society/the-world-s-population-by-eye-color.html
  • ↑ https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/understanding/traits/eyecolor/
  • ↑ https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/22615-melanin
  • ↑ https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/Pages/Newborn-Eye-Color.aspx
  • ↑ https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/eye-cancer/

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Writing Forward

A Guide to Descriptive Writing

by Melissa Donovan | Jan 7, 2021 | Creative Writing | 8 comments

descriptive writing

What is descriptive writing?

Writing description is a necessary skill for most writers. Whether we’re writing an essay, a story, or a poem, we usually reach a point where we need to describe something. In fiction, we describe settings and characters. In poetry, we describe scenes, experiences, and emotions. In creative nonfiction, we describe reality. Descriptive writing is especially important for speculative fiction writers and poets. If you’ve created a fantasy world, then you’ll need to deftly describe it to readers; Lewis Carroll not only described Wonderland  (aff link); he also described the fantastical creatures that inhabited it.

But many writers are challenged by description writing, and many readers find it boring to read — when it’s not crafted skillfully.

However, I think it’s safe to say that technology has spoiled us. Thanks to photos and videos, we’ve become increasingly visual, which means it’s getting harder to use words to describe something, especially if it only exists in our imaginations.

What is Descriptive Writing?

One might say that descriptive writing is the art of painting a picture with words. But descriptive writing goes beyond visuals. Descriptive writing hits all the senses; we describe how things look, sound, smell, taste, and feel (their tactile quality).

The term descriptive writing can mean a few different things:

  • The act of writing description ( I’m doing some descriptive writing ).
  • A descriptive essay is short-form prose that is meant to describe something in detail; it can describe a person, place, event, object, or anything else.
  • Description as part of a larger work: This is the most common kind of descriptive writing. It is usually a sentence or paragraph (sometimes multiple paragraphs) that provide description, usually to help the reader visualize what’s happening, where it’s happening, or how it’s happening. It’s most commonly used to describe a setting or a character. An example would be a section of text within a novel that establishes the setting by describing a room or a passage that introduces a character with a physical description.
  • Writing that is descriptive (or vivid) — an author’s style: Some authors weave description throughout their prose and verse, interspersing it through the dialogue and action. It’s a style of writing that imparts description without using large blocks of text that are explicitly focused on description.
  • Description is integral in poetry writing. Poetry emphasizes imagery, and imagery is rendered in writing via description, so descriptive writing is a crucial skill for most poets.

Depending on what you write, you’ve probably experimented with one of more of these types of descriptive writing, maybe all of them.

Can you think of any other types of descriptive writing that aren’t listed here?

How Much Description is Too Much?

Classic literature was dense with description whereas modern literature usually keeps description to a minimum.

Compare the elaborate descriptions in J.R.R. Tolkien’s  Lord of the Rings  trilogy  with the descriptions in J.K. Rowling’s  Harry Potter series  (aff links). Both series relied on description to help readers visualize an imagined, fantastical world, but Rowling did not use her precious writing space to describe standard settings whereas Tolkien frequently paused all action and spent pages describing a single landscape.

This isn’t unique to Tolkien and Rowling; if you compare most literature from the beginning of of the 20th century and earlier to today’s written works, you’ll see that we just don’t dedicate much time and space to description anymore.

I think this radical change in how we approach description is directly tied to the wide availability of film, television, and photography. Let’s say you were living in the 19th century, writing a story about a tropical island for an audience of northern, urban readers. You would be fairly certain that most of your readers had never seen such an island and had no idea what it looked like. To give your audience a full sense of your story’s setting, you’d need pages of detail describing the lush jungle, sandy beaches, and warm waters.

Nowadays, we all know what a tropical island looks like, thanks to the wide availability of media. Even if you’ve never been to such an island, surely you’ve seen one on TV. This might explain why few books on the craft of writing address descriptive writing. The focus is usually on other elements, like language, character, plot, theme, and structure.

For contemporary writers, the trick is to make the description as precise and detailed as possible while keeping it to a minimum. Most readers want characters and action with just enough description so that they can imagine the story as it’s unfolding.

If you’ve ever encountered a story that paused to provide head-to-toe descriptions along with detailed backstories of every character upon their introduction into the narrative, you know just how grating description can be when executed poorly.

However, it’s worth noting that a skilled writer can roll out descriptions that are riveting to read. Sometimes they’re riveting because they’re integrated seamlessly with the action and dialogue; other times, the description is deftly crafted and engaging on its own. In fact, an expert descriptive writer can keep readers glued through multiple pages of description.

Descriptive Writing Tips

I’ve encountered descriptive writing so smooth and seamless that I easily visualized what was happening without even noticing that I was reading description. Some authors craft descriptions that are so lovely, I do notice — but in a good way. Some of them are so compelling that I pause to read them again.

On the other hand, poorly crafted descriptions can really impede a reader’s experience. Description doesn’t work if it’s unclear, verbose, or bland. Most readers prefer action and dialogue to lengthy descriptions, so while a paragraph here and there can certainly help readers better visualize what’s happening, pages and pages of description can increase the risk that they’ll set your work aside and never pick it up again. There are exceptions to every rule, so the real trick is to know when lengthy descriptions are warranted and when they’re just boring.

Here are some general tips for descriptive writing:

  • Use distinct descriptions that stand out and are memorable. For example, don’t write that a character is five foot two with brown hair and blue eyes. Give the reader something to remember. Say the character is short with mousy hair and sky-blue eyes.
  • Make description active: Consider the following description of a room: There was a bookshelf in the corner. A desk sat under the window. The walls were beige, and the floor was tiled. That’s boring. Try something like this: A massive oak desk sat below a large picture window and beside a shelf overflowing with books. Hardcovers, paperbacks, and binders were piled on the dingy tiled floor in messy stacks.  In the second example, words like  overflowing  and  piled are active.
  • Weave description through the narrative: Sometimes a character enters a room and looks around, so the narrative needs to pause to describe what the character sees. Other times, description can be threaded through the narrative. For example, instead of pausing to describe a character, engage that character in dialogue with another character. Use the characters’ thoughts and the dialogue tags to reveal description: He stared at her flowing, auburn curls, which reminded him of his mother’s hair. “Where were you?” he asked, shifting his green eyes across the restaurant to where a customer was hassling one of the servers.

Simple descriptions are surprisingly easy to execute. All you have to do is look at something (or imagine it) and write what you see. But well-crafted descriptions require writers to pay diligence to word choice, to describe only those elements that are most important, and to use engaging language to paint a picture in the reader’s mind. Instead of spending several sentences describing a character’s height, weight, age, hair color, eye color, and clothing, a few, choice details will often render a more vivid image for the reader: Red hair framed her round, freckled face like a spray of flames. This only reveals three descriptive details: red hair, a round face, and freckles. Yet it paints more vivid picture than a statistical head-to-toe rundown:  She was five foot three and no more than a hundred and ten pounds with red hair, blue eyes, and a round, freckled face.

descriptive writing practice

10 descriptive writing practices.

How to Practice Writing Description

Here are some descriptive writing activities that will inspire you while providing opportunities to practice writing description. If you don’t have much experience with descriptive writing, you may find that your first few attempts are flat and boring. If you can’t keep readers engaged, they’ll wander off. Work at crafting descriptions that are compelling and mesmerizing.

  • Go to one of your favorite spots and write a description of the setting: it could be your bedroom, a favorite coffee shop, or a local park. Leave people, dialogue, and action out of it. Just focus on explaining what the space looks like.
  • Who is your favorite character from the movies? Describe the character from head to toe. Show the reader not only what the character looks like, but also how the character acts. Do this without including action or dialogue. Remember: description only!
  • Forty years ago we didn’t have cell phones or the internet. Now we have cell phones that can access the internet. Think of a device or gadget that we’ll have forty years from now and describe it.
  • Since modern fiction is light on description, many young and new writers often fail to include details, even when the reader needs them. Go through one of your writing projects and make sure elements that readers may not be familiar with are adequately described.
  • Sometimes in a narrative, a little description provides respite from all the action and dialogue. Make a list of things from a story you’re working on (gadgets, characters, settings, etc.), and for each one, write a short description of no more than a hundred words.
  • As mentioned, Tolkien often spent pages describing a single landscape. Choose one of your favorite pieces of classic literature, find a long passage of description, and rewrite it. Try to cut the descriptive word count in half.
  • When you read a book, use a highlighter to mark sentences and paragraphs that contain description. Don’t highlight every adjective and adverb. Look for longer passages that are dedicated to description.
  • Write a description for a child. Choose something reasonably difficult, like the solar system. How do you describe it in such a way that a child understands how he or she fits into it?
  • Most writers dream of someday writing a book. Describe your book cover.
  • Write a one-page description of yourself.

If you have any descriptive writing practices to add to this list, feel free to share them in the comments.

Descriptive Writing

Does descriptive writing come easily to you, or do you struggle with it? Do you put much thought into how you write description? What types of descriptive writing have you tackled — descriptive essays, blocks of description within larger texts, or descriptions woven throughout a narrative? Share your tips for descriptive writing by leaving a comment, and keep writing!

Further Reading: Abolish the Adverbs , Making the Right Word Choices for Better Writing , and Writing Description in Fiction .

Ready Set Write a Guide to Creative Writing

I find descriptions easier when first beginning a scene. Other ones I struggle with. Yes, intertwining them with dialogue does help a lot.

Melissa Donovan

I have the opposite experience. I tend to dive right into action and dialogue when I first start a scene.

R.G. Ramsey

I came across this article at just the right time. I am just starting to write a short story. This will change the way I describe characters in my story.

Thank you for this. R.G. Ramsey

You’re welcome!


Great tips and how to practise and improve our descriptive writing skills. Thank you for sharing.

You’re welcome, Bella.

Stanley Johnson

Hello Melissa

I have read many of your articles about different aspects of writing and have enjoyed all of them. What you said here, I agree with, with the exception of #7. That is one point that I dispute and don’t understand the reason why anyone would do this, though I’ve seen books that had things like that done to them.

To me, a book is something to be treasured, loved and taken care of. It deserves my respect because I’m sure the author poured their heart and soul into its creation. Marking it up that way is nothing short of defacing it. A book or story is a form of art, so should a person mark over a picture by Rembrandt or any other famous painter? You’re a very talented author, so why would you want someone to mark through the words you had spent considerable time and effort agonizing over, while searching for the best words to convey your thoughts?

If I want to remember some section or point the author is making, then I’ll take a pen and paper and record the page number and perhaps the first few words of that particular section. I’ve found that writing a note this way helps me remember it better. This is then placed inside the cover for future reference. If someone did what you’ve suggested to a book of mine, I’d be madder than a ‘wet hen’, and that person would certainly be told what I thought of them.

In any of the previous articles you’ve written, you’ve brought up some excellent points which I’ve tried to incorporate in my writing. Keep up the good work as I know your efforts have helped me, and I’m sure other authors as well.

Hi Stanley. Thanks so much for sharing your point of view. I appreciate and value it.

Marking up a book is a common practice, especially in academia. Putting notes in margins, underlining, highlighting, and tagging pages with bookmarks is standard. Personally, I mark up nonfiction paperbacks, but I never mark up fiction paperbacks or any hardcovers (not since college).

I completely respect your right to keep your books in pristine condition. And years ago, when I started college, I felt exactly the same way. I was horrified that people (instructors and professors!) would fill their books with ugly yellow highlighting and other markips. But I quickly realized that this was shortsighted.

Consider an old paperback that is worn and dog-eared. With one look, you know this book has been read many times and it’s probably loved. It’s like the Velveteen Rabbit of books. I see markups as the same — that someone was engaging with the book and trying to understand it on a deeper level, which is not disrespectful. It’s something to be celebrated.

Sometimes we place too much value on the book as a physical object rather than what’s inside. I appreciate a beautiful book as much as anyone but what really matters to me is the information or experience that it contains. I often read on a Kindle. Sometimes I listen to audio books. There is no physical book. The experience is not lessened.

I understand where you’re coming from. I used to feel the same way, but my mind was changed. I’m not trying to change yours, but I hope you’ll understand.


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Describing Words

creative writing green eyes description

This tool helps you find adjectives for things that you're trying to describe. Also check out ReverseDictionary.org and RelatedWords.org . Here are some adjectives for green eyes : . You can get the definitions of these green eyes adjectives by clicking on them. You might also like some words related to green eyes (and find more here ).

Sort By Usage Frequency

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Words to Describe green eyes

Below is a list of describing words for green eyes . You can sort the descriptive words by uniqueness or commonness using the button above. Sorry if there's a few unusual suggestions! The algorithm isn't perfect, but it does a pretty good job for most common nouns. Here's the list of words that can be used to describe green eyes :

  • usually candid
  • alarmingly vacant
  • cool and glorious
  • normally feline
  • large and pale
  • widely shallow
  • made-up and inquisitive
  • curiously intelligent
  • ddly feline
  • memory--feral
  • scarily vivid
  • once amazing
  • usually startling
  • pale and watery
  • clever and curious
  • almost ancient
  • startlingly vivid
  • usually striking
  • usually sympathetic
  • unfathomably deep
  • normally brilliant
  • almost radiant
  • oddly feline
  • small but radiant
  • surprisingly pale
  • rather stunning
  • inhumanly bright
  • fantastically gorgeous
  • innocently wide
  • almost luminescent
  • normally bright
  • normally hard
  • oddly bright
  • startlingly dark
  • impossibly deep
  • stunningly brilliant
  • remarkably brilliant
  • perfectly conscious
  • strangely bright
  • surprisingly brilliant
  • incredibly deep
  • bright and brilliant
  • usually cheerful
  • incredibly bright
  • strangely luminous
  • usually cold
  • usually bright
  • slightly off-center
  • surprisingly deep
  • peculiarly cold
  • rather splendid
  • usually dull
  • unusually sharp
  • sickly pale
  • impossibly wide
  • slightly dazed
  • unnaturally bright
  • equally brilliant
  • intensely vivid
  • penetrating
  • extremely bright
  • lovely dark
  • once beautiful
  • luminescent

Popular Searches

As you've probably noticed, adjectives for " green eyes " are listed above. Hopefully the above generated list of words to describe green eyes suits your needs.

If you're getting strange results, it may be that your query isn't quite in the right format. The search box should be a simple word or phrase, like "tiger" or "blue eyes". A search for words to describe "people who have blue eyes" will likely return zero results. So if you're not getting ideal results, check that your search term, " green eyes " isn't confusing the engine in this manner.

Note also that if there aren't many green eyes adjectives, or if there are none at all, it could be that your search term has an abiguous part-of-speech. For example, the word "blue" can be an noun and an adjective. This confuses the engine and so you might not get many adjectives describing it. I may look into fixing this in the future. You might also be wondering: What type of word is green eyes ?

The idea for the Describing Words engine came when I was building the engine for Related Words (it's like a thesaurus, but gives you a much broader set of related words, rather than just synonyms). While playing around with word vectors and the " HasProperty " API of conceptnet, I had a bit of fun trying to get the adjectives which commonly describe a word. Eventually I realised that there's a much better way of doing this: parse books!

Project Gutenberg was the initial corpus, but the parser got greedier and greedier and I ended up feeding it somewhere around 100 gigabytes of text files - mostly fiction, including many contemporary works. The parser simply looks through each book and pulls out the various descriptions of nouns.

Hopefully it's more than just a novelty and some people will actually find it useful for their writing and brainstorming, but one neat little thing to try is to compare two nouns which are similar, but different in some significant way - for example, gender is interesting: " woman " versus " man " and " boy " versus " girl ". On an inital quick analysis it seems that authors of fiction are at least 4x more likely to describe women (as opposed to men) with beauty-related terms (regarding their weight, features and general attractiveness). In fact, "beautiful" is possibly the most widely used adjective for women in all of the world's literature, which is quite in line with the general unidimensional representation of women in many other media forms . If anyone wants to do further research into this, let me know and I can give you a lot more data (for example, there are about 25000 different entries for "woman" - too many to show here).

The blueness of the results represents their relative frequency. You can hover over an item for a second and the frequency score should pop up. The "uniqueness" sorting is default, and thanks to my Complicated Algorithm™, it orders them by the adjectives' uniqueness to that particular noun relative to other nouns (it's actually pretty simple). As you'd expect, you can click the "Sort By Usage Frequency" button to adjectives by their usage frequency for that noun.

Special thanks to the contributors of the open-source mongodb which was used in this project.

Please note that Describing Words uses third party scripts (such as Google Analytics and advertisements) which use cookies. To learn more, see the privacy policy .

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19,885 quotes, descriptions and writing prompts, 4,964 themes

brown eyes - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing

  • light brown eyes
  • light green eyes
  • story writing help
  • whites of eyes
Show me a deep brown eye and I will show you my kind of heaven right there.
In those brown eyes was the warmth of an everlasting hearth, as if they were the wood that could burn with golden flame yet be forever perfectly entire.
Those brown eyes were as polished amber in first rays of dawn.
My Grandpa, the Jew, with his soulful laugh and the sort of brown eyes that bring hearth-sipped hot cocoa to the memory.
His brown eyes were hues of comforting childhood memories, as sweet as chocolate and as solid as the oak.
Those brown eyes are a million hues, so I wonder what the word "brown" even means. They are the forest and the autumnal leaves, the soil in summer and after the rains. How could we ever reduce something so spellbinding to one word, when the colours invite us to marvel in their simplicity.
In those earthy hues was his soul, not in they way of those cheesy romance novels, so obsessed with lust, but with the kind of beauty that expands a moment into a personal eternity, a heaven you wish to be a part of.
His eyes reminded me of the old barn door, flecks of deep brown married with lighter hues, so much strength remaining despite the years of weathering, so much life.
His eyes were the colour of earth kissed by spring rains, the hue that promises to stir life from dormant seeds, the nascent plants guided upward by the light before blossoming into the vibrant colours of a new season.
His eyes were the shade of acorns, just bright enough to shine in the shadows. I often kept my gaze to the soil or else tilted upward to the sky, but when I was brave enough to meet them a shiver of golden light would race down my spine, every time, every time.
Those eyes were the hue of every tree in the forest from the early light to the sunset, made all the richer by the golden light.

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  1. How to Describe Eyes in Writing (21 Best Tips + Examples)

    For example, instead of saying, "She had green eyes," you might say, "Her eyes were the color of freshly mown grass, evoking an undeniable feeling of rebirth." Different colors can invoke various emotions or suggest specific character traits. "Eyes as gray as a stormy sea" could symbolize a tumultuous spirit or an adventurous soul.

  2. Best Ways To Describe Eye Color In Writing

    Best Ways To Describe Eye Color In Writing Eyes are the windows to the soul. A common saying and in day-to-day life, we have learned to not discern a person's personality or quirks based on their eye color. However, when we are writing, there is a lot more freedom.

  3. 330+ Striking Words to Describe Eyes

    Updated August 11, 2021 Image Credits Finding the right words to describe eyes can be the difference between a good story and a great story. Eyes can be described in so many ways, from words focused on their appearance to the meaning conveyed or interpreted via expression.

  4. How to Describe Eyes in a Story

    1. Avoid fixating on eye color Source: http://www.wookmark.com/image/507850 The color of a person's eyes doesn't tell us whether they are kind or cruel, an optimist or a pessimist. Often aspiring authors focus on the eyes more than anything else when describing characters.

  5. Green eyes

    green eyes - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing green eyes Her eyes were as green lights could shine in any night. By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, December 3, 2020 . Her eyes were the hue of the new spring growth, bright and soft all at once.

  6. How To Describe Eyes In Writing (13 Steps You Need To Know)

    How To Describe Eyes In Writing Observe the Eyes Consider the Setting Start with Color Shape and Size Expressions and Emotions Pupils and Iris Eyebrows and Eyelashes Eye Movements Comparisons and Metaphors Light and Shadows History or Backstory Overall Impression Editing and Polishing Understanding the Basics The anatomy of the human eye

  7. 400+ Ways to Describe Eyes: A Word List for Writers

    You've got the blue/brown, the green/brown, and the gold-ish amber/brown. They can look different depending on clothing/surroundings. When I dyed my hair a really dark red my eyes looked way more green, now my hair's brown and my eyes look more brown. Really, that brown ring around the pupil is what defines hazel eyes.

  8. How To Describe Green Eyes

    1. "Her eyes were as green as emeralds, shimmering like the leaves on a summer day." - Unknown 2. "Green-eyed people are passionate souls who possess an innate sense of mystery and depth." - Elizabeth Taylor 3. "In those jade orbs lies a world full of secrets waiting to be discovered." - F. Scott Fitzgerald 4.

  9. How To Describe Eyes

    The significance of describing eyes in writing is enormous. Eyes can serve as a window to a character's nature, demonstrating their emotional state and improving the reader's association with the story. Authors can utilize sensory elements like color, shape, and texture to depict eyes effectively.

  10. Eye Description Generator

    The eye description generator gives over 70,000 descriptions of eyes for use in creative writing, for authors and writers. The eye description generator gives over 70,000 descriptions of eyes for use in creative writing, for authors and writers. Skip to content. Main Menu. ... bottle green eyes. Leandro Wilde has cloudy, iron grey eyes. Juelz ...

  11. How to describe eyes in writing?

    Eyes are an important part of a person's appearance and can convey a wide range of emotions and expressions. I am sharing with you, some of the ideas and you can use these in describing eyes in creative writing. Psychological Mode of eyes like Humble, Loving, Caring, Harmful. revealing pain. The motion of Eyes: Describe the way a person's ...

  12. 8 Ways to Describe Character Features in Writing

    1. Describe eye color in different ways. Providing visual information about a character allows readers to visualize imagery in their mind. Eye color, along with hair color, is one of the first things people mention when describing someone's appearance. Include it when sketching your characters, but be sure to do it in a descriptive way.

  13. Describing Eyes in Writing

    From Oedipus to the Cullens, literature is full of descriptions of meaningful eyes. Given that long history—and that long list of clichés—there are also some traps that are easy to fall into. Sometimes the painstaking descriptions authors write of eyes, green flecked through with yellow or a charming shade of violet or black ones that darken to coal when the character is angry, seem like ...

  14. Light green eyes

    light green eyes - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing Those light green eyes were my green light, for I realised in that moment that I loved her. By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, December 7, 2020 . Light green eyes are the new forest foliage in the pure sunshine. By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, December 7, 2020 .

  15. 20 of the Best Words to Describe Eyes, Windows to the Soul

    01 Icy This word "icy" is good to use for describing blue eyes because it immediately builds an image in the listener/reader's mind of the color icy-blue. The person can imagine eyes that are a bit whitish or a glassy shade of blue. Icy can also be used in sentences and in descriptions of someone. E.g.

  16. A Writer's List of Descriptive Colors

    A Writer's List of Descriptive Colors Don Updated: Nov 11, 2023 7:11 PM EST A collection of colors to make your world come alive. Anna Kolosyuk / Unsplash Awesome Color Theory for Writers The list of colors found below is one that is specifically geared toward writers rather than those in the visual medium.

  17. Green Eyes Meaning: Symbolism, Fun Facts & More

    | Fun Facts About Green Eyes Green eyes sure are mesmerizing—aren't they? The bright, emerald color is a sight to behold; it's no wonder the eye color has captivated writers and artists for centuries. Green eyes have become a familiar motif across literature and art since the beginning of time, but why?

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    eyes - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing Search entire site for eyes When the bond of love is made, my eyes give free passage to my soul. By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, February 5, 2021 . Eyes that love you will catch your soul, even if you weren't aware of its falling.

  19. A Guide to Descriptive Writing

    Here are some general tips for descriptive writing: Use distinct descriptions that stand out and are memorable. For example, don't write that a character is five foot two with brown hair and blue eyes. Give the reader something to remember. Say the character is short with mousy hair and sky-blue eyes.

  20. 497+ Words to Describe Green eyes

    According to the algorithm that drives this website, the top 5 adjectives for "green eyes" are: usually candid, alarmingly vacant, cool and glorious, normally feline, and large and pale. There are 492 other words to describe green eyes listed above. Hopefully the above generated list of words to describe green eyes suits your needs.

  21. Creative writing describe green eyes

    Creative writing describe green eyes Here are always primarily about eye used as writers will help you get angry at those green is perfect for a verified cat. Free course, and on business plan ready characters' eyes help with our сustomers. Angry eyes grade 11 humss creative writingwords related terms pertaining to intensify.

  22. Brown eyes

    brown eyes. - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing. Show me a deep brown eye and I will show you my kind of heaven right there. By Angela Abraham, @daisydescriptionari, December 3, 2020 . In those brown eyes was the warmth of an everlasting hearth, as if they were the wood that could burn with golden flame yet be forever ...