In other news, I just read that lit agent Chip MacGregor is hanging up the blog for good. He had a really helpful one too. But I get it. I mean, how much more can you say once you've said it all??
I stumbled upon an awesome blog the other day (which I neglected to copy the name of and I'm sure it's somewhere on my Google reader but I just don't have time to find it right now) with a post on the importance of body language. She had a list of suggestions, which I took down and will share with you below.
My characters tend to do a lot of shrugging, rolling of the eyes, nodding, etc.... you know, the cliches. But if we really focus on the body language we won't have to add in those extra adjectives, adverbs, etc. Body language can even take the place of dialogue tags. Body language conveys emotion without us having to tell the reader. It allows us to show the reader. Could be as simple as crossing one's arms over his chest.
So here's what I found, I'm sure there's plenty more, but this will get the ball rolling....
* The direction someone is facing - good for first impressions of a person's mood, where their attention is focused, and how safe they feel.
* Where a person is looking (making eye contact or looking at a particular object) - good for showing what a character is paying attention to, and how ready they are for conversation or confrontation.
* Open or closed body posture - this shows mood and receptiveness. The more bunched up a person is, the more uncomfortable they appear . A person can also close body to one side and open to another by crossing the legs and turning the shoulders, perhaps to show preference to one love interest over another.
* Placement of the hands - this shows mood, anxiety level, and can also give information about character and personality depending on what the person is holding or what they are doing with their hands.
* Height of the shoulders - another mood indicator.
* Ease of breathing - great to show fear, relief, relaxation, excitement, etc.
Do you have some to add? Please share!