Nancy's Books

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Nonverbal Communication, Part 1/Calls for Submissions

Communication between characters is critical to move the story forward and to tell the story. Dialog is a typical form of communication, but the nonverbal type can be effectively incorporated into a story with a few tricks of the trade.

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.

The way the character walks, stands, and sits can also rely 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 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.

Nonverbal communication adds depth to a character. Give it a try.

Next week, I’ll continue this article.

Call for submissions for adult writers:

Iowa Award in Poetry, Fiction, & Essay is offered for the best short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Winners receive $1,500, plus publication in the Iowa Review.

Deadline: January 31, 2013

Submission Guidelines at

Call for submissions for young writers:

Youth Imagination. Short Story Size limit: 1000 to 4000 words (preferred limit is 3000 words. We will consider longer stories, but they must be extraordinary)

Serial Size limit: 20,000 to 40,000 words (we only accept one or two serials per year)

Youth Imagination encourages and fosters creative writing, and especially writing by teens and preteens, by including guided writing exercises, discussion and workshops on our website. Then, after the stories are developed, written, workshopped and polished, there's always the questions, what's next? We have the "what's next,” too- a magazine that focuses on the creative writing for and by teens.

We are open for submissions, and are particularly interested in creative fiction stories by teens, but will also accept YA stories by adult authors. Make the stories awesome, inspiring and engaging. Our goal is to publish the best writing for and by teens. We accept a wide variety of stories: happy ending, sad endings, humor, genre, literary or gritty.

We accept most genres of fiction, including modern, urban or classical fantasy, as well as sci-fi, slipstream, literary, action-adventure and suspense.

Submission Guidelines at

Check out more contests on my blog:

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