While dialogue says a lot, your character’s body can say more.
Here are 5 things to consider with body language:
- Use body language to add depth to your dialogue.
- More than 50% of human communication is non-verbal.
- It shows how your character’s emotions affect his actions.
- It helps to show rather than tell.
- Use it in moderation. If overused, it can slow your story down.
Some examples of emotions portrayed through body language:
Impatience – nod quickly, tap fingers, sigh, check the clock, tap feet, increase pitch in voice, look away
Jealousy – tight lips, sour expression, narrow eyes, crossed arms
Reluctance – cross arms, make fists, drag feet, pinch nose, put hands over ears
Shock – hands over mouth, mouth open, gasp, freeze and stare with wide eyes and raised eyebrows, smack palm against forehead, step back
The Idaho Writers Guild is sponsoring their annual writing contest and YOU can enter. No membership required, no restrictions. This contest is open to everyone everywhere!
So pull out your work, dust it off, and send it in.
Deadline is March 5, 2017.
- Short Story
- Novel first 10 pages
- Non-fiction (either memoir or essay)
go to www.idahowritersguild.com for all the juicy details and hurry, time is running out!
$100 for the first place winner in each category, and $50 to each second place winner. Plus all entries receive the judges scorecards with valuable feedback.
- Write about your writing tasks. The secret of writing is…writing. Writers write. It sounds funny, but write about your writing. It gets you writing! Write what you’re happy about, what you’re mad or sad about. Write! Write what you did today, or what you wanted to do today.
- Take your writing with you. I always have a notepad or my iPad with me so I can write notes and ideas. Write names you hear, places you see, or just a scene in a restaurant you witness. Write in bits and pieces, then later you can add it in where it fits.
- Draw something. Adult coloring books are all the craze right now, have some color pencils in your bag and be ready to doodle anytime the words don’t come. Keep the creativity flowing.
- Use your imagination. It’s a powerful thing. Let it run free like a small kid jumping into rain puddles. Just let your mind wander and see where it goes. Don’t worry about it, just have fun with it.
- Create a happiness list. You really are as happy as you decide to be. If you’re miserable, think about the things that make you happy, and create a happiness list. Focus on at least one happy thing a day. It will change your entire outlook.
Sherry Briscoe – Gypsywriters – www.sherrybriscoe.com
Telling should be used sparingly because it distances the reader from the viewpoint character’s goals and actions. It is mostly better to show rather than tell.
- Avoid using abstract words when you describe a person.
- Avoid adjectives. Use verbs. Adjectives tell, verbs show.
- Don’t generalize. Be specific.
For a story to occur, something extraordinary must happen to so upset the balance of a character’s life that they are then impelled to pursue a goal generated by the change in their life. In doing so, they will face obstacles and antagonistic forces until they do or don’t get what they want, reach a point of change from which there is no return, and a new order is established.
Aristotle discussed ancient theater in his Poetics, where he noted the Rule of the Three Unities:
Time, place and action.
Scenes are like dominoes – one causes the next.
Forget about making characters speak, focus at first on letting them act.
Gypsy Writer, Sherry Briscoe
Rochelle Cunningham and I are starting a new series of novels about two not-so-lovable 60-something year old ladies and their many adventures.
Mayme and Estelle. They’ll make you laugh, warm your heart (occasionally) and keep you on the edge of your seat.
Mayme and Estelle solve mysteries, but only by accident. They were just looking for a good time, some good alcohol and maybe a cute old man, preferably one with all his original teeth.
My question to you is, should their mysteries be murder mysteries, or something more strange involving the supernatural, other worlds, etc.?
We would love your feedback.
And be sure to watch for the books coming out soon:
CRUISE TO PORT LET DOWN
SPEED DATING AT THE SENIOR CENTER
MOONLIGHT AND SENILITY, and many, many more!!!
Sherry Briscoe, Gypsy Writer www.sherrybriscoe.com