Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Your Main Character's Posture

Have you ever thought about the posture of your characters? You might want to.
Psychiatrists know that body language and spoken language depend on each other. Spoken language cannot give the full meaning of what a person says. To truly understand someone we must not only listen to what they say, but take note of their physical presence.

As writers we need our characters to speak not only with dialogue but with their bodies. For instance, what does a character say who slouches with bad posture? What is he/she saying if their posture is good?

Bad posture . . .
Bad posture can be a sign of depression and low self-esteem. When I was twelve, I grew to the height I have now, 5'9". Plus, my womanly curves filled out as well. Because I was one of the tallest girls in my seventh grade class and because of my new shape I became very self conscious. I didn't want to stand out and as a result I slouched. My mother was forever telling me to stand up straight.(FYI: I no longer slouch and no, the picture is not of me, but it could have been.) If you have a character who is shy and suffers from low self-esteem you might want to give him/her poor posture.

Good posture . . .
Good posture can be a sign of a someone who is self-assured, confident, and proud of who they are. Imagine a young woman not afraid to be taller than boys her age, nor self conscious of her changing body. It would not be hard to see this young woman as a heroine. 

However, sometimes a character can have poor posture at the beginning of the book and by the end have great posture because he/she has learned something during the course of the story, which adds a subtle layer.

What kind of posture does your MC have? And what does it say about him/her?

Next Wednesday we'll talk about messages in movement.



  1. Good post. I was tallest girl in fifth grade...and didn't grow any taller. By high school, I was one of the shortest. It is what it is - LOL.

  2. Hi, Kathi! I've passed along the Liebster blog award to you. Check out my blog : )

  3. Carol,
    So you know what it's like for those tall and short. You can use that for so many characters. Cool!

  4. K.M.,
    Thank you! I haven't received an award for a while. I'll be happy to spread the love around. :)



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