The Body Never Lies (Penny Rader) Creative Commons-licensed content
A couple years ago I attended a communication seminar.  I was surprised to learn that only 7% of communication comes from words – which is one reason why it’s easy to be misunderstood in emails and tweets and facebook posts.  The other 93% comes from body language, tone of voice, etc.  I trolled the internet for help using nonverbal communication in our writing.

Body Language Basics (Julie Rowe)

Check out this article for tips about how smiling, eyebrows, head positioning and body position reveal what your characters are doing and how they feel about it.

Body Language Cheat Sheets for Writers 

This cheat sheet from Archetype Writing includes Anger, Attraction, Distress and Lying, among others.

Body Language – A Guide to Reading Body Language Signals

This site has a body language index – loads of helpful information.   Especially body language signals and meanings (broken down by eyes, mouth, head, arms, hands, handshakes, legs and feet,  personal space).

The Body Language Noob

You’ll find additional articles about body language, including “The Most Honest Part of the Body” – be sure to check out the short video.

Body Language: Ten Ways to Show How Your Character Is Feeling (Renee Miller)

“The worst part of getting advice like ‘show, don’t tell’ is that writers like to throw it out there, but they don’t seem to want to take the time to explain it.  …where many writers tend to tell when showing is best, is when they’re trying to covey how a character feels.  Body language is so easy to use, and it gives the reader a visual of what’s going on…” Creative Commons-licensed content

Gender Differences: Female Body Language

This article is for men writing female characters, but I figured it’d be helpful for women, too. :D

The Human Touch – Using Body Language in Writing (techtrigger)

“…too easy to forget your body interacts with the world.” Examples include body movement, sounds, textures, dialogue.

Non-Verbal Thesaurus:  A Writer’s Cheat Sheet to Body Language Cues

Pretty cool.  Check it out.

Using Body Language

There’s a ton of info here: body language message clusters, movement, parts-of-the-body language.

Writing Body Language and Dialogue Cues Like a Psychologist (Margie Lawson)

In this article, Margie discusses dialogue cues and facial expressions.  She also gives several examples from novels.

Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are (Amy Cuddy)

A TED Talk about “power posing” Creative Commons-licensed content


Do you have  favorite body language reference?


Rox Delaney said...

Great list and one I can put to good use. ;)

Here's another to add: The Emotion Thesaurus

Penny Rader said...

Thanks, Rox. I can't believe I forgot to include the Bookshelf Muse site. {head smack}

Barbara said...

What a good list! Thanks for compiling and explaining this all.

Rox Delaney said...

Penny, I think it's good to have many sources, not just the one. I use The Emotion Thesaurus all the time, but having others will be great! TET doesn't always give me what I need. ;) BIG THANKS!

Rox Delaney said...

Here's a link I found the other day and printed the list.

100 Words for Facial Expressions

And a couple of others on feelings, both positive and negative.

Common Negative Feelings

Feeling Words/Emotion Words

Ashantay said...

These are great references - thanks!

One of my professors stated that we "cannot not communicate." Your post proves her point.


Penny Rader said...

Thanks for visiting, Barbara. So glad you found the links helpful.

Penny Rader said...

Rox, I treated myself to the paperback version of The Emotion Thesaurus, using gift cards. Now I just have to put it to use. :D

Penny Rader said...

Oh, forgot to say thanks for the additional links, Rox. You rock! :D

Penny Rader said...

So glad you enjoyed the post, Ashantay. Thanks for visiting!

Debra St. John said...

Thanks for all of the links. Last year when I was having trouble with that pesky 'show don't tell' I looked up and printed out a bunch of body language information from various sites. It really helped and now I keep them close at hand. I'll be sure to add your references to my files!


Laura B said...

This is awesome! Show don't tell is a hard concept to master, and all these links as well as this post in general are such a great reminder to keep it visual. Thank you so very much!

Penny Rader said...

Debra, do you have the links handy for the articles you printed? Thanks for dropping in.

Penny Rader said...

Thanks, Laura. I so agree that Show, Don't Tell can be difficult. Sometimes I think I have a good handle on it, and then others...not so much.

Rox Delaney said...

I just found another one. ;)

Body Language Basics

Reese Mobley said...

These might be the best links ever. Thanks, Penny.