By: Alex Limberg, @RidethePen
. . .
Our bodies have a life of their own. They always speak the truth. We will never be able to truly hide what we think and feel, because our body language will always give it away.
That makes body language a wonderful tool for your story. How else could you tell your readers so easily, directly and graphically how your character feels without being completely obvious?
Describing your characters’ body language is great to make your dialogue more interesting and to add a little bit of variation and physicality. At the same time, body expressions make your characters feel like real human beings, driven by their emotions. You are also leaving subtle clues for the attentive reader.
When you describe body language, you can show what’s really going on under the surface, just by describing a simple physical look or movement.
You need to stick to a couple of basic rules though to smoothly incorporate facial expressions and gestures into your scene. Here is a short Body Language 101 that will help you “puppeteering” your characters’ bodies:
1. Use body language only occasionally
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