The Importance of Body Language
Describing a character’s body language can be very important and helps your story from being too “telly”. You end up showing your readers how your characters are feeling instead of constantly telling them what’s going on. For example, if someone’s face “burns bright red”, you know they’re either angry or embarrassed (or perhaps a combination of both). Depending on context, your readers can figure out how your character is reacting. Using these simple techniques can help improve your story and make it much more entertaining.
- A character that is over confident (possibly the antagonist) will most likely stand taller, put hands on his or her hips, or bark orders at others. The way they sit will also reveal a lot about their character. Their legs will probably be unfolded and they might sit up straighter to show dominance.
- Someone who is shy and closed off will slump his or her shoulders or wrap their arms around their legs if they are sitting. They will do anything to remain unnoticed, which will come across in their body language. Submissive people tend to smile a lot because they might not want to engage in conversation.
- Anger can be described through clenched teeth, reddening skin, heavy breathing, or crossing arms. If a character feels physically threatened, he or she might ball her fists as if ready for a fight.
- When people lie they tend to touch their face or avoid eye contact. They will try any physical action that might distract people from the fact that they are lying and it will often be subtle.
- I once read that when you’re attracted to someone or open to conversation with them, you’ll point your knees in their direction. Your knees will often face the person who you wish to talk to. If someone is not open to conversation or feels uncomfortable, they will turn their body away from the person to show they aren’t interested.
There are a lot of clues in everyday life as long as you pay attention to them. If you want to learn more about body language, all you have to do is analyze the people around you or even yourself. What do you do when you lie? How do people know when you’re happy? Take a look around and observe.
you can break my soul,
take my life away,
but for the love of god
don’t touch him.