I wish to describe strong physical attraction on first sight by a human towards an alien. A Human meets an Alien but the Alien is extremely beautiful (sorry Humans!) and would wipe the floor of the most beautiful Human.

What I have written is:

They were obviously viscerally attractive to Humans of that there was no doubt.

However, I am not sure this phrase conveys what I want to describe. What techniques can I use to better convey this attraction?

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    The American saying is "wipe the floor with", not "of". Are they attractive to ALL humans, or just heterosexual males? Even that seems highly unlikely, males are not uniformly sexually attracted to the same type; some like the supermodel figure, some like larger women, some like non-Caucasian women, some like large breasts, others like petite women. I think your premise is flawed. – Amadeus Sep 4 '18 at 13:45
  • @Amadeus unless the aliens in question morph their appearance to be extremely attractive to whoever observes them, or even better - simultaneously appear different to different observers - to each whatever is more attractive to them. :) – Galastel supports GoFundMonica Sep 4 '18 at 13:52
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    Hi, and welcome to Writing.SE! We're a site for Q&A on writing, but rephrasing specific passages isn't something we handle -- that's a kind of question the community has decided is off-topic. If you'd like to get a sense of how the site works and what we mean by Q&A, you can visit the site tour! – Standback Sep 4 '18 at 14:05
  • Hi and welcome to Writing.SE! As @Standback says, rephrasing specific passages isn't something we handle. I have edited your question to make it broader, and something we can answer. Feel free to rollback the edit if you feel it doesn't reflect what you wanted to ask. However, in that case, the question is likely to get closed. – Galastel supports GoFundMonica Sep 4 '18 at 14:10

You are telling that the human is attracted to the alien. Why not show instead? A picture is worth a thousand words, they say, so why not create that picture?

Consider what attraction feels like - is there a physiological reaction? Are there thoughts the character is suddenly thinking, that have nothing to do with the situation they are in?

You might want to take a look at how other authors describe a character's response to supernaturally attractive creatures. For example, from Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series:

The newcomer was the real thing. She was grace. Beauty. Art. As such, she was not so easily quantified.
Thinking back later, I couldn't clearly remember her facial features or her body, beyond a notion that they were superb. Her looks were almost extraneous.
Or maybe the hunger was mine. In the space of five seconds, my attention to detail fractured, and I wanted her. I wanted her in the most primal sense, in every way I could conceive. Whatever gentle and chivalrous tendencies my soul harbored suddenly evaporated. Images swarmed over me-images of unleashing the fires burning in me upon willing flesh. Conscience withered a heartbeat later. (Jim Butcher, Blood Rites, chapter 12)

You can also describe the alien itself. However, @Amadeus is not wrong - different people find different things attractive. You therefore need to consider whether the alien is question is extremely attractive to one particular character, or somehow attractive to many characters with different tastes.

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    "You can also describe the alien itself." ...running the risk of the reader finding such a being decidedly non-attractive. Sometimes, less really is more. (Though I agree fully with your point on telling rather than showing.) – user Sep 4 '18 at 14:42
  • @MichaelKjörling I agree with you there, absolutely. Which is one more reason I brought the Blood Rites example. – Galastel supports GoFundMonica Sep 4 '18 at 19:11

Are you trying to describe this in a clinical sense, or are you trying to get the reader caught up in the feeling?

Forget aliens for a moment, suppose you are just trying to say that a human woman is pretty. You could write, "Sally was very pretty", or "Any man who saw Sally was immediately impressed by her physical appearance." Or, "Sally's physical appearance tended to elicit an automatic physical response from most men who saw her." Etc. Okay, that conveys the idea, but frankly, it's not very interesting. Unless you WANT to sound very clinical and scientific, I wouldn't say it that way. I don't claim to be a great poet, but I could easily do better. Not original, but I heard once, a character says to his girlfriend, "Once I looked up at the sky and it was the most perfect shade of blue, the most beautiful color that I could imagine. Later I said to myself that it must have been a dream, there couldn't really be such a color. And then today I looked into your eyes ..."

BTW I think you'd need to justify your premise for the reader to find it convincing. I can look at a mountain or a wild animal and say, "Wow, that's really beautiful", but I don't think of that in a romantic or sexual sense. If someone asked me, "Which is more beautiful, the Milky Way at night or your girlfriend?", I'd say that such a question is impossible to answer. They're two different things. Both beautiful, but each in its own way. There's no way to compare the two. Unless your aliens look just like people, I doubt it would occur to anyone to compare their beauty to the beauty of people.

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    The correct answer to "Milky Way or girlfriend" is "girlfriend". Because the Milky Way isn't going to get miffed that you didn't pick it. :P – Galastel supports GoFundMonica Sep 4 '18 at 19:10
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    @Galastel This explains why my girlfriend punches me so often ... – Jay Sep 4 '18 at 20:48

There's too many adverbs and phrases that are equivalent to adverbs (of that there was no doubt). Why not show, rather than tell? Something akin to:

'Their features were soft, inhumanly so. As strange as it was, humans were outright ugly compared to them.'

  • Well, I looked at the rules again and could not really see where I transgressed.I am not trying to get feedback on any of the off topic ones given. So I end up being rather confused. I am in the class of 'Aspiring Writer' and therefore possibly this more inexperienced type should not be allowed here at all due to frequent stumbling. – happyhacker Sep 5 '18 at 14:41
  • It's not grammatically incorrect, just sloppy. 'Obviously viscerally' - two adverbs in a row looks pretty bad. Adverbs are rarely necessary, and while once in vogue (in the 1800s) it's generally considered a little telly and wordy for modern tastes. – Matthew Dave Sep 5 '18 at 14:49
  • Well, I looked at the rules again and could not really see where I transgressed. I am not trying to get feedback on any of the off topic ones given. So I end up being rather confused. I am in the class of 'Aspiring Writer' and therefore possibly this more inexperienced type should not be allowed here at all due to frequent stumbling - so say it when one registers in a more pointed way–saves everybody time. Just thanks to those who replied I'll take away the advice as it answers adequately for me if not others. I''l find a more appropriate forum for my inexperience as a writer. Many Thanks. – happyhacker Sep 5 '18 at 14:55

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