by Niki Turner
I was plugging away at my current manuscript when I realized I needed to provide a good physical description of my hero's nose. Yes, his nose.
My first thought? Aquiline. How many romances have I read in which the hero's nose is described as aquiline? I started to type it... aqui— and was interrupted. (This inner interruption occurs frequently when I pray for God's assistance with my writing endeavors.)
—What exactly is an aquiline nose?
—Um. Er. Straight? A straight nose?
(OK, if you already know the answer, stop laughing at me. At some point in time you, too, had to learn the definition of an aquiline nose.)
Thank goodness for Google. What did we do before Google and Bing and Yahoo and access to the world wide web? (We wasted a lot less time looking at pictures of unattractive cats and indulging our flesh with annoying political/religious arguments, for starters.)
Anyway... I looked up aquiline at dictionary.com and received the following result:
(of the nose) shaped like an eagle's beak; hooked.
of or like the eagle.
Worse, I was directed to a slew of sites about nose shapes and what each shape might mean about personality, character traits, and so forth. There are Greek noses, Roman noses, Nubian noses, hawk noses (John Lennon), flat noses, wavy noses (Owen Wilson), Jewish noses, snub noses, small noses, fleshy noses, celestial noses, bulbous noses... and of course, aquiline noses.
My quickie search for the meaning of aquiline stretched into several hours devoted to noses. (Please, tell me this has happened to someone else.) I read an article, Nose Shapes and What They Reveal; a quiz... What Your Nose Says About You; a CBS News report about celebrity noses; and an entire blog devoted to "the art of face reading" which I may actually use in the future. Interesting stuff.
At this point, I was no longer thinking about my hero's undeveloped nose, but my own nose. What kind of nose do I have, and what does it say about me and my potential for future success or failure?
Several hours later, exhausted by all those noses, I came to the conclusion that my hero, Sebastian, has John Lennon's nose. And now, on to the mouth. And the chin. And the eyes. And the eyebrows...
My lessons for the day?
1. There may be multiple hours tied into that author's description of the hero's nose, so pay more attention next time!
2. Writers (at least this one) are easily distracted by stuff on the Internet. And... ooh, something shiny!
3. Just because you like the way a word sounds, don't use it unless you know what it actually means!What research rabbit trails have you been led astray by lately?
Niki Turner is a writer, former pastor's wife, mother of four, and grandmother of two. She is a self-confessed failure at coming up with catchy taglines for her writing, her purpose in life, or what she hopes to achieve in the future. Suggestions are welcome.