Friday, December 11, 2015

Nonverbal Communication

I'm working on a book right now where the heroine is really good at nonverbal communication.  Why do I paint myself into corners like this?  I don't know much about it, myself, so I had to do research.

Have you ever searched for nonverbal clues and what they mean?  Most are innocuous, and pertain to what's going on at the moment.  So I sat back and put myself into the situation.

What if you were talking to someone at a party and they wanted to show they were above you?  What would they do?  I had my character lift his nose and swirl his glass of wine, as if rubbing in his snottiness.  Of course my heroine caught it and called him on it...and he walked away, ticked off because she was right.

What if you wanted your character to feel inferior to others?  What would you have them do?  I'd make them shrink--their shoulders would sag, they'd lower their head and not make eye contact, and wring their hands.

Have you ever considered putting more nonverbal communication into your books?  If you need a really good reference, check this one out:  If you go to the Bell Bubble or Scott Sylvan Bell at the bottom of the list, you'll see that he talks about base lining body language.  Very interesting read, actually.

But here's my REAL question.  What about 'nonverbal communication of the web?'  I just HAD to look this up, certain someone had figured it out, and they did:

How Design Is The Body Language Of The Web
Text or talk?—The importance of non-verbal communication

When someone emails with all caps, you might think they're angry, when in fact, they don't know how to turn the caps lock off.  Or they might be short because they're drinking a latte and are typing with one hand.  Same with texts.

The next time you write part of your book, consider all nonverbal clues.  It'll help create conflict!

Have a great week!

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