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Exercise #200 - Dialogue with Body Language: 3 Scenes

Precise body language can often enliven dialogue. For example, a character might say, "No, I cannot do that." If she says that while "hunched over and cupping a hand over the receiver" the effect is dramatically different from, say, "glaring down from the top of the steps, with arms akimbo." In three different scenes, take the same dialogue and add tags* and body language--- but, as these tend to be overused, try to avoid "shrugging," "nodding" or "sipping."

(1) In a cafe:
(2) In an office:
(3) On a hiking trail:

"It's impossible, you don't want that"
"Why not?"
"Can't you see?"
"Why should I be quiet?"

*For example, "he said" or "she asked". 

 1, 2, 3, GO!!

In a Cafe:
"It's impossible, you don't want that," the man said tersely, impatiently tapping his foot behind her.
She looked around. Was he talking to her? "Why not?" she asked, locking eyes with the cashier, pleading silently with the young girl to help her with this unwanted stranger. The girl simply shrugged and looked at the floor, leaving her customer hanging.
"Can't you see?" he said, raising his arms in exasperation.
She had no idea what he was talking about, so she narrowed her eyes and said, "Quiet."
The man appeared to be outraged by her comment. "Why should I be quiet?"
"Shshsh."said the man behind him in line as he stepped forward and straightened himself into a dominating posture.

In an Office:
"It's impossible, you don't want that," Laura said, crossing her legs just temptingly and slowly enough.
"Why not?" A gleam of expectation flickered behind Chris' eyes as he smirked and stared blatantly at her exposed thighs.
She laughed heartily. "Can't you see?"
Chris brought his fingers to his lips, panic crossing his face briefly. "Quiet." What if they heard?
"Why should I be quiet?" she said, leaning forward. She opened her mouth to say more, but he closed it with a kiss. Once he felt she was quiet enough, he pulled away and said, "Shshsh."

On a Hiking Trail:
"It's impossible, you don't want that." Ellen said, pushing herself to the top of the hill and using her walking stick to stabilize her movements.
"Why not?" Diane was nonplussed, but she kept moving forward, albeit a little more slowly than Ellen. Howard was perfect for her. Wasn't he?
"Can't you see?" Ellen sighed and continued on, putting distance between herself and her friend.
"Quiet." Diane knew her answer, but they would never see eye to eye on that. She quickened her pace and closed the gap.
"Why should I be quiet?" Ellen slowed, turning her head to view Diane who was now next to her.
"Shshsh." Diane said, moving even more quickly, leaving her friend to be the one to fall behind this time.

What did you come up with? Feel free to leave comments below!



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