Sunday, June 14, 2015
The silent language of characters revs up a reader’s imagination and perceptions. Alert readers interpret nonverbal communication between characters as foreshadowing future events and actions.
Facial expressions can show fear, glee, anger, sadness, joy, and disappointment. A smile rounds a person’s eyes and raises their cheeks. A frown can wrinkle a nose and forehead. Fear sometimes opens a child’s mouth. So does surprise. People consciously and unconsciously express feelings through body language so our characters should do likewise.
The way the character walks, stands, and sits can also relay information to the reader. Angry people walk with a heavy gait and may stomp a foot…or two. Sadness may be depicted with a shuffle of feet or stooped shoulders. A character that skips along is probably happy and one that walks with a straight back and head held high shows confidence.
The character’s eye contact tells a lot. Direct eye contact implies truthfulness and self-assurance. A character that looks away may be lying or perceived to lack confidence.
When you add nonverbal communication in your story, you add depth to a character. Next week, I’ll continue this article.
Call for Submissions for Adult Writers:
Front Porch, the online literary journal of Texas State University’s MFA, invites all writers to submit works of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. Front Porch is dedicated to publishing the most celebrated talents in contemporary writing published alongside exceptional new voices. Our editors seek out both innovative and traditional literature. In short, we’re looking for insightful and relevant writing that excels, regardless of form, theme, or style.
Our submissions are rolling with no deadline and submitted online through Front Porch’s online submission manager.
Submission guidelines at http://www.frontporchjournal.com/submit.asp