Michille: Body Language, Lying, and Manipulation

https://writerswrite.co.za/10-poses-to-show-character-development-through-body-language/I was noodling around on one of my favorite writing blogs recently and found a post entitled 10 Poses to Show Character Development Through Body Language. The post referenced a TED talk from 2012 by Amy Cuddy about Body Language. Still noodling around the Internet on this topic, I came across this image on bodylanguage.com. These resources reminded me of one of the sessions I attended at an RWA in the past on “Body Language, Lying, and Manipulation” presented by Dr. Cynthia Lea Clark (I remember it because Linda Howard also attended it. She sat next to me and went all fan-girl on her). Continue reading

Justine: How Body Language Can Project Confidence

This post is a re-boot from one I posted last year just before RWA Nationals, but it’s worth posting again. Nationals is in NYC this year and is a little less than a month away. No doubt many of us are working hard on our manuscripts (or bemoaning the lack of progress we’ve made on them lately), or we’re excited to see friends. Perhaps you’re looking forward to catching some of the great workshops being offered this year. Or perhaps you’re like me…stressing about the agent/editor appointment you managed to get. You’re wondering Continue reading

Jilly: Here’s Looking At You

Here's Looking At YouDo your characters judge others by reading their eyes? Do you make the most of this important behavior? And do you get the details right?

This week, I’ve been taking a cold, hard look at the way I write about eyes. Not so much eye color or appearance – I’m not talking twin pools of emerald, though obviously the reader needs a degree of physical description to help them build mind pictures – but eyes as the key to a character’s thoughts, emotions and responses.

It’s hardly new news that eyes are important. They’re the primary means by which humans receive information, and according to body language expert Joe Navarro: “The eyes can be very accurate barometers of our feelings because, to some degree, we have very little control over them.” The eyes are a very honest part of our face, which is why poker players, secret service agents and rock stars cover them with dark glasses.

It’s instinctive for us to Continue reading

Nancy: Seeing the World Through Each Character’s Eyes

Gestures and Touches

As I read the excellent blog posts this past week here on 8LW, I couldn’t help doing two things: 1) ordering multiple resources recommended in the posts and the comments, and 2) contemplating gesture and physical interaction in my own WIP. I am woefully guilty of using my own short-hand in first drafts, words or phrases for which I’ll search later so I can replace them with better descriptions.
For example, in my current WIP, I seem to be fixated on sighing. A quick read of the scenes I’ve written this past week revealed more sighing than any person should be allowed (in reading or in practice) in a lifetime. These are placeholders for now, though, and when I’m ready to replace them, I’ll be turning to resources like Navarro’s What Every Body is Saying and Ackerman and Puglisi’s Emotion Thesaurus. But I also started looking at the ‘bodies in motion’ aspect of my book from a different angle, and the possibility of using it to help define characters not only through their own non-verbal clues, but how they read those clues in others, as well. Continue reading

Jilly: Show And Tell

Show And Tell

Typical feminine pacifying behavior

We’ve been all about the physical this week at 8LW.  Michaeline posted yesterday about writers’ wellbeing, and Kat, Elizabeth and Justine have been discussing the key ingredients of a great sex scene: there’s a lot more to it than describing docking body parts. Conversely, depicting physical interaction is a challenge that extends way beyond the bedroom or back seat, and that’s my subject today: the majority of human communication is non-verbal, and capturing these exchanges well is a key aspect of building credible characters. Continue reading