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

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