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Thanks for stopping by Fiction Tips Weekly. This blog is one of the primary blogs hosted by me, Cyrus Wraith Walker. You will find many goodies here.

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Saturday, June 20, 2009



And . . . action!

Johnny was nobody’s fool. He quickly scooted out of sight using the immediate obstacles to cloak his disappearance. He vanishes out of thin air, maybe the guy isn’t human, Officer Mundane had said. But it was just misdirection on Johnny’s part, swiftly moving behind the dumpster, between the buildings and from tree to tree beyond. Sweat dripped from his brow as he painstakingly betrayed their line of vision. By the time he reached the car, he was grasping at his chest. He fell to the ground retching what had been his meal for that day.

Action is a most useful Mode or Expression – as I like to call it – of fiction. If we look this up in some resources, we usually get a short little explanation that (Action) is used to demonstrate the events as they happen in a story thus helping the readers feel as though they are participating. All fine and dandy, and the more action/reaction you can weave successfully into your story, the more involved your reader will get. But, while (ACTION) is just that, the action that takes place in a story, the skilled writer can use certain types of actions to imply the emotional or physical state of the character. This is in good keeping with the Show, don’t tell rule of writing fiction.

I am talking about body language.


Facial expressions and reactions,

Tone of voice, and Breathing

Balled hands into fists!

Yeah that’s the stuff! Below I have compiled some body language to help you see what I mean.

Your character is:

· Confident so she – walks brisk and erect

· Ready and aggressive so he – stands with his hands on his hips

· Bored so she – sits with her legs crossed, her foot kicking out slightly

· Open and relaxed so he – sits with his legs apart

· Defensive – so she crosses her arms across her chest.

· Dejected so he – walks down the street with his hands in his pockets, his shoulders hunching and his face reddening

Any way you get the idea. Here is more

Body Language: Hand to cheek
Character reacts to: Evaluation, thinking

Body Language: Touching, slightly rubbing nose
Character reacts to: Rejection, doubt, lying

Body Language: Rubbing the eye
Character reacts to: Doubt, disbelief

Body Language: Hands clasped behind back
Character reacts to: Anger, frustration, apprehension

Body Language: Locked ankles
Character reacts to: Apprehension

Body Language: Head resting in hand, eyes downcast
Character reacts to: Boredom

Body Language: Rubbing hands
Character reacts to: Anticipation

Body Language: Sitting with hands clasped behind head, legs crossed
Character reacts to: Confidence, superiority

Body Language: Open palm
Character reacts to: Sincerity, openness, innocence

Body Language: Pinching bridge of nose, eyes closed
Character reacts to: Negative evaluation

Body Language: Tapping or drumming fingers
Character reacts to: Impatience

Body Language: Steepling fingers
Character reacts to: Authoritative

Body Language: Patting/fondling hair
Character reacts to: Lack of self-confidence; insecurity

Body Language: Quickly tilted head
Character reacts to: Interest

Body Language: Stroking chin
Character reacts to: Trying to make a decision

Body Language: Looking down, face turned away
Character reacts to: Disbelief

Body Language: Biting nails
Character reacts to: Insecurity, nervousness

Body Language: Pulling or tugging at ear
Character reacts to: Indecision

Body Language: Prolonged tilted head
Character reacts to: Boredom

Copyright©2009 by Cyrus Wraith Walker

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