Body Language ‘Cheat Sheet’

Writers Write have put together some advice and a great table of body language/physical cues you can use to reveal emotion.

For instance, if you were attempting to show awe you might consider showing your character:

slack-jawed, unable to move, stare etc

Of course, try not to overuse such cues, otherwise your characters will start looking like flailing cartoons.

Most importantly, context will do most of the work. For example, a shrug might suggest: confusion, disinterest or disregard, the same way a frown might show a variety of emotions.

What will really sell a scene to the reader is the whole picture.

 

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Bad Advice?

When it comes to writing, what does bad advice look like?

Surprisingly, it can look just like good advice. The trick is being able to tell the difference – and that also includes knowing when any given piece of advice is useful and when it is problematic. Below is an article on some classic advice and how it might not be useful, depending, we’d argue, on when you read it in your writing career.

For instance, it’s a common notion that a writer should only work on one piece at a time. Great way to finish a project, right?

However, just as many writers work on multiple projects to keep motivated and excited about their work. Novel one until you hit a wall, then a short story, then back to novel one, or novel two, and so on.

So which is it? Write one thing at a time, or switch between projects?

The answer really depends on the individual writer.

Litreactor – 10 Worst Pieces of Advice

 

Welcome to 2014 with some Advice from Chuck Palahniuk

Chuck Palahniuk, best known perhaps for Fight Club, has some fantastic advice for writers seeking to ‘show’ more in their fiction.

Have a look right here where he takes aim at eliminating ‘thought’ verbs and provides examples of showing vs telling:

Don’t tell your reader: “Lisa hated Tom.”

Instead, make your case like a lawyer in court, detail by detail. Present each piece of evidence. For example:

“During role call, in the breath after the teacher said Tom’s name, in that moment before he could answer, right then, Lisa would whisper-shout: ‘Butt Wipe,” just as Tom was saying, ‘Here’.”