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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Red-faced Characters

As long as I can remember, I have had to deal with the reddening of my face. I blush far too easily, and my face gets bright red with exertion. I played a lot of tennis in my youth, and people used to attribute the glow on my face to sunburn.

"No," I told them. "It will go away in a few minutes."

Many reasons a person's face might become red or rosy reflect emotional reactions such as anger, shyness, embarrassment or shame. Also hot flashes, a hormonal, rather than emotional red face issue I've been blessed with. Some people blush if they are suddenly the center of attention, while speaking in public, when they have been caught telling a lie or if suddenly encountering someone they have a crush on.

Technically speaking, blushing is due to the sudden arousal of the sympathetic nervous system. When a person feels uncomfortable (as they might in situations described in the previous paragraph), the small blood vessels in the face, ears, and neck dilate, turning the skin some shade of pink or red. One of the first signs of anger is a reddening of the ears.

As a writer, giving a character a red face is a way to describe him or her without having to state the obvious: he was angry, she was embarrassed. Over the years I have created a stockpile of  red-face expressions that I distribute where appropriate in what I write. Below are some of my favorites.

color flooded his face (or cheeks); she felt her cheeks heat up; shamefaced; her cheeks flamed as her mouth went dry; his face turned scarlet with anger; angry red glare; her color deepened; a pink glow rose from his neck to his hairline; blushed, flushed, reddened

I'm always looking for different ways to describe a red face, and will appreciate those you are willing to share

blushing love emoji - Image by Reneeđź’•

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