From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Writing Challenge: Describing Eyes

The eyes are the window to the soul, right?

And they are one of the hardest things to describe and not make cliche.

Ugh. Can you tell I've been having cliche battles?

Eyes have been described so many times it feels like there's no way to talk about them without sounding completely trite. We all know the words: deep, haunting, piercing. But what do those words really mean? How do you really get the image into the readers mind?

The best way, I've been thinking, is to take the known and expand it as best you can. So, for example, rather than saying
He had clear, hazel eyes that made me shiver.
you could maybe say something like
He had clear eyes the color of sand, eyes that somehow always left me wondering if I'd seen them right, like I'd looked at the sun too long. Eyes that always left me wondering where he really went at night.
Better, right? Kind of? More interesting at least.

So now I put it to you. I'll give you a picture of a character with eyes that are...well, haunting, deep, piercing. Go all out. See what you can do.


  1. His eyes were like molten silver pooling around an onyx stone. They seemed to shimmer as though a current passed through them; clear, electric, and unnerving.

  2. It's super hard because there are only so many eye colors. And yes the battles with the cliche never end!

  3. Battle, battle, battle.

    His eyes left a raw spot inside of me, the chaffing kind. They sent an urge inside me to run. Would I be hunted if I did?

    This was fun.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  4. Very good post. I'm always looking for a way to think outside the box with writing. :)

  5. Loved Becky's description. I couldn't describe eyes if I tried, no imagination for things like that, that's why I don't write books.

  6. I can't think of a thing to say. although I do think facial expressions are much harder than describing eyes.

    hope you have a great day.

  7. "His eyes seemed different than any I'd seen before. Rather than the average brown, blue, or green you'd expect, these eyes seemed to tell you more about his personality than how he looked. The light grey color allowed one to see his soul: troubled, stubborn, and barely even human."

  8. Describing eyes is a real challenge. Loved the post!

  9. Cement. His eyes left the feeling of a concrete jungle that was more like a prison than anything else really. And his eyes told of things normal folks like you and I would be too scared to see. His eyes were different from the rest of us, which was pretty obvious.
    They were wild. Untamed. And just thinking of ways to describe his stone cold eyes made me want to retreat. Retreat and return to a place where I would not be faced with the same truth his eyes screamed to me. Retreat to a place where I can keep on pretending the things he knew did not exist.


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