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"Body Language: Two People Talking"

Exercise #88 : "Body Language: Two People Talking"

Two people talking usually do a lot more than "smile" and "nod" at each other. One might cross his legs, or, scratch an ankle, or smooth her hair, etc. Then there's interaction between the two: one might reach across the table and lay his hand on top of her wrist. She might touch her own lip, to indicate that he has a crumb of muffin hanging on his, etc. Make a list of all the little (and big) gestures you can think of that two people might make while talking to each other.

Ah, gestures. This shall be fun.

And... GO!
  • cocking an eyebrow
  • crossing legs towards or away from the person to which one is speaking
  • tapping the foot
  • avoiding eye contact
  • covering the mouth with a hand
  • holding hands clasped in one's lap
  • pushing glasses up the nose
  • rubbing the end of one's nose
  • leaning on the table, elbows firmly planted
  • rolling eyes
  • fidgeting
  • twiddling of the thumbs
  • raising eyebrows
  • smiling / frowning / pursing lips / etc
  • furrowing brow

As I wrote that list, I couldn't help but notice that I focused on facial expressions... hmm... Of course, a good portion of my character interaction is shown through facial expressions. Maybe I should try to alter that. Well, not alter it completely, but try to add in a bit of body language, too, that doesn't deal with just the head. haha

When writing a scene with two or more characters acting, how do you find yourself describing how they interact? Do you focus on a single type of language or do you find a happy medium between all of the forms of interaction? Would love to hear how you all work. :)


P.S. NaNo Update: Last night I totaled in at just above 4,000 words. Very exciting! Today's goal: 6,000 words. We'll see how that goes. How are all of my fellow NaNoers doing?


#167 Dad said…
6,000 words in a day? That's massive. How long does it take you to hit six grand.
Stef Howerton said…
Oh, most definitely not 6,000 words in a day! haha That's just my total word count. More along the lines of 2,000/day. :) I'd go insane if I tried 6,000/day!
Anonymous said…
I don't know if I think 6k coherent words a day < shaking my head >. Or string that many into understandable thoughts.

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