Today’s post shows how to describe a witch using 10 different features. We all think of a witch as having a broomstick, a loud cackle and the morals of a wharf rat -and we’re right! When you are writing a descriptive paragraph on a witch, it is probably better to hone in on more specific details, however. Is she looking at you in a certain way? How do her teeth and skin give an insight into her character? What colour is her hair -is it the stereotypical, pagan-black or is it much worse and straw-like? These are all the characteristics you should have prepared in your ‘mind’s eye’ (your imagination) before you start to write. Underneath are some helpful hints in describing a witch.
There are 5 levels of ability to choose your words and phrases from, as always. They range from basic english to advanced. The first hurdle you may have to jump is choosing an adjective for her ugly features. Here are 10 to help you out. Only choose a word you are comfortable with, where possible.
Level 1 – beastly/ monstrous
Level 2 – grisly/ ghastly
Level 3 – gruesome/ grotesque
Level 4 – hideous/ repugnant
Level 5 – execrable/ abominable
Her hair was:
Level 1 – straw-like/ lifeless
Level 2 – greasy/ grimy
Level3 – knotted/ matted
Level 4 – lank/ lice-infected
Level 5 – lustreless/ oleaginous
She had….. eyes:
Level 1 – feline (of a cat, cunning eyes)/ serpentine (of a serpent, hooded eyes)
Level 2 – leonine (of a lion, fierce eyes)/ lupine (of a wolf, savage eyes)
Level 3 – vulpine (of a fox, wily eyes)/ taurine (of a bull, wild eyes)
Level 4 – simian (of an ape, ferocious eyes)/ saurian (of a lizard, lidded eyes)
Level 5 – anguine eyes (of a snake, calculating eyes)/ arachnid (of a spider, pitiless eyes)
She had a…..nose:
Level 1 – hawkish/ hooked
Level 2 – barbarous/ vulturous
Level 3 – cob/ bulbous
Level 4 – pug/ snub
Level 5 – raven’s/ misshapen, raptor’s
Her voice was:
Level 1 – gravelly/hissing
Level 2 – jeering/ grating
Level 3 – raspy/ wheezing
Level 4 – a sickly, grainy/ a sibilant
level 5 – a grit-and-gravy/ a vile, cackling
Level 1 – buck-toothed/ gapped
Level 2 – jagged/ serrated
Level 3 – broken-glass/ filed-down
Level 4 – saw-toothed/ crenelated
Level 5 – snaggle-toothed/ tombstone
Level 1 – bushy/ cruel and jagged
Level 2 – bristly/ brambly
Level 3 – beetle-browed/ hirsute
Level 4 – sickle-shaped/ scythe-shaped
Level 5 – fireworshipper-black/ shaped like fish hooks
Her eyes were…..
Level 1 – blazing with hatred/ flaming with anger
Level 2 – flashing with cruelty/ gleaming with cunning
Level 3 – glinting with hostility/ glittering with violence
Level 4 – shimmering with spite/ shining with malice
Level – scorching with odium/ smouldering with vengeance
Her face was:
Level 1 – faded/ care-worn
Level 2 – time-decayed/ time-gashed
Level 3 – seasoned/ effete
Level 4 – time-chiselled/ time-decayed
Level 5 – world weary/ wizened
1. She had thin, bloodless lips.
2. She had skin like snakeskin leather.
3. She had dead-fish eyes.
4. She had a wart the size of a saucer on her nose.
5. She had the manners of a bin-fly.
6. She had pitted and pockmarked skin.
7. She had skin as cold and white as a winter’s moon.
8. She had facial hairs as tough as boar bristles.
9. She had arthritic, spindly legs, like an old spider.
10. Her skin had a zombie-white, colourless pall to it.
I hope you enjoyed the descriptions above. They are designed to breathe life into your story. I will pick out some words or phrases from each section, in sequence, and we will see what a sample paragraph would look like.
The billion-fold hiss of water dripping echoed in the cave. I kept going, even though I didn’t have a torch and I was hopelessly lost. It was casket-black down here and I was afraid that I mightn’t make it out alive. I thought I could hear a murmuring in the distance and when I moved towards the sound, I was thrilled to see a light shining. My fear turned to horror when I gazed upon the old crone inside.
She was hideous of appearance, mumbling to herself with that dreamy, ghastly smile. Her hair was lank and lustreless, falling around her like strings of rotting straw. A cauldron bubbled slowly in the corner, leaving off the most infernal and rancid vapours. Bits of frogs’ legs, bat wings and eyes of newt were scattered around the floor of the cave. Her lupine eyes, savage and cunning, only came to life when she muttered certain arcane words from a spell. They perched above her hawkish and hooked nose. From it sprang the most preposterous wart. It was at least the size of a saucer. It would have been funny if the scene wasn’t so Stoker-esque.
Her wheezy, cackling voice rose higher and higher as she neared the end of her incantation. A row of teeth, blackened and broken into stubs, like old tombstones, lay below her fireworshipper-black eyebrows. They hinted at her cruelty as they arced up and over her dead-fish eyes like sickles. Those eyes suddenly shimmered with the spite of a thousand years as she turned fully towards me and pinned me with her gaze. She traced a leathery tongue around her thin, bloodless lips while she looked me up and down from crown to ankle. Her spindly, arthritic legs moved rapidly, like an old spider, covering the distance between us in a flash. I was transfixed. I couldn’t move my arms or legs. I was the fly in the web.
She leaned her face towards mine and I could smell the mildewy and sickly passage of her breath. ” Dinner is served”, she whispered.
For much more of the above, please check out my books ‘Writing with Stardust’ and ‘Blue-Sky Thinking’ by clicking on the book covers underneath.