Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Body Language of Your Characters

Have you ever wondered what your main character's body language says to the other characters in your book . . . or even to your readers? 

Does her body say that she's available? Does his body say he is lonely? Do their bodies reveal that they are negative? Easy to beat? Or manipulators?

I've often been fascinated with not only what a person says, but in the way they say it. Common gestures such as lifting an eyebrow for disbelief, clasping arms for protection, a shrug for indifference, or tapping fingers for impatience are just a few nonverbal movements our characters make to show how they feel. 

But can we go deeper? Are there gestures that can reveal our characters deepest thoughts and feelings? 

Of course.

I thought it would be fun for the next few Wednesdays to delve into these unconscious movements that may help layer our characters with more language: verbal and body. 

We'll discuss this further next Wednesday, but I'm curious, do you think body language and spoken language are dependent on each other? If so why, and how do you use them in your writing? 



  1. Great idea. I'm making myself a note to check back here on Wednesdays for a while. I've read that body language gives most of us away, no matter the words that come out our mouths.

  2. Carol,
    I'm still learning, but thought I'd pass on what I know. I find it very fascinating. And you're right, body language does give us away no matter what we say. It will be fun to watch for some of these gestures. :)

  3. Body language reading is fascinating. I often try and visualise my characters and how they react. Getting it down in writing is not so easy!

  4. Glynis,
    I know what you mean about getting it down on paper. But that's the challenge and why we love to write. :)



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