I have no idea how well NaNoWriMo is going for three reasons.
- I’m writing everything out with pen and paper
- I’ve been distracted by two short stories and haven’t actually touched the novel I was planning to finish.
- This blog.
I came across this body language reference sheet by Mickey Quinn. It was originally designed to help comic book illustrators, but it works for writers as well.
I loved what Quinn had to say about crotch displays. I saw Fire and Ice (1983) last year and noticed none of the characters wore much more than loin cloths. The running gag was that if you wished to intimidate someone, assume Power Stance (aka, show them your balls.) Sometimes jokes have a seed of truth in them.
I’m ashamed to say that I rely on a few key gestures far too often in my writing. There are more ‘significant glances’ in my stories than actual dialogue, and everyone asserts their will on each other by physically restraining them.
Another bit that Quinn didn’t mention is elbows. I’ve observed that dominant posture has to do with how far one’s elbows are from their waist. When I feel big and full of bravado, my elbows are out. When I’m trying to be cute and coy, they’re in.
Check out the difference in posture between Luis Royo’s woman on the left, and Michael Ivan‘s woman on the right. All things equal, they’re both pretty slinky and sexy; but their elbow position, to me, tells the most about who will fight first and flirt later.
How do you use non-verbal communication in your writing? What about in life?