Cheat Sheets For Writing Body Language

Cheat Sheets For Writing Body Language

What is body language and how do you use it when you write? Use these cheat sheets to help you with your body language descriptions.

What Is Body Language?

People react to situations with micro-expressions, hand gestures, and posture. Most of us are not even aware of them. However, what we do with our body language has a huge impact on other people and how they interpret and perceive us.

‘Even when they don’t express their thoughts verbally, most people constantly throw off clues to what they’re thinking and feeling. Non-verbal messages communicated through the sender’s body movements, facial expressions, vocal tone and volume, and other clues are collectively known as body language.’ (Psychology Today)

Body language happens when we are doing something. We could be sitting, standing, or walking. We could be talking or thinking. Body language is often an involuntary reaction to something perceived by one of the five senses.

How To Use It In Writing

Using body language is one of the best ways to show and not tell when we write.

This is why we are always told to use body language in our writing. Sometimes, it’s easier said than written. So, I created these cheat sheets to help you show a character’s state of mind through their body language.

When you are completing your character biographies, be sure to include how your main characters move and talk. This is especially important for your protagonist, antagonist, confidant, and love interest. They are the characters that hold the story together and they should be as well-rounded and believable as possible.

The Top Five Tips For Using Body Language

  1. Use body language to add depth to dialogue.
  2. Use it because more than 50% of human communication is non-verbal.
  3. Use it to show how your character’s emotions affect their actions.
  4. Use it to help you show rather than tell your reader everything.
  5. Use it in moderation. If overused, it can slow your story down.

TIP: Use our Character Creation Kit to create great characters for your stories.

Cheat Sheets For Writing Body Language

Use this list to help you with your body language descriptions. It will help you to translate emotions and thoughts into written body language.

Obviously, a character may exhibit a number of these behaviours. For example, they may be shocked and angry, or shocked and happy.

Use these combinations as needed.

Cheat Sheets For Body Language
Cheat Sheets For Body Language

Use our Character Creation Kit to create great characters for your stories.

by Amanda Patterson
© Amanda Patterson

If you enjoyed this, read:

  1. The 17 Most Popular Genres In Fiction – And Why They Matter
  2. How To Write A One-Page Synopsis
  3. 123 Ideas For Character Flaws – A Writer’s Resource
  4. The 7 Critical Elements Of A Great Book
  5. All About Parts Of Speech
  6. Punctuation For Beginners
  7. 5 Incredibly Simple Ways to Help Writers Show and Not Tell
  8. 5  Instances When You Need To Tell (And Not Show)
  9. The 4 Main Characters As Literary Devices
  10. 106 Ways To Describe Sounds

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Posted on: 5th April 2014
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