Here is a quote about character.
Dostoevski writes in his novel The Adolescent:
If your wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know a man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, or seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you’ll get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man… All I claim to know is that laughter is the most reliable gauge of human nature.
Okay. I agree. When you watch a person laugh, you sort of understand the person. But how can you describe the laughter? Of course, you can use a thesaurus:
break up, burst*, cachinnate, chortle, chuckle, convulsed, crack up, crow, die laughing, fracture, giggle, grin, guffaw, howl, roar, roll in the aisles, scream, shriek, snicker, snort, split one’s sides, titter, whoop, with sound be in stitches
cachinnate?? Oh well. Yes, there are differences in what a laugh is. I can use similes: She laughed like a sick crow. Or action: His laughter broke the tension in the room. Or showing her movements: She threw her head back and laughed. But it still seems to me hard to do – to really describe a character ONLY by how she laughs.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Images courtesy of:
- drinkfromthedeep.org // ghosts