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Old 04-24-2018, 04:46 PM   #1
Kantarii
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Hand Gestures and Body Language

This is one of my favorite tools I use to “humanize” the characters I create. There are literally endless ways to convey it in story text and dialogue for the reader to relate to. I use a great many of them, but some I use more than others.

So to the other authors here: do you use hand gestures/ body language in your writings and if so, do you have one that’s a personal favorite?
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Old 04-24-2018, 05:04 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kantarii View Post
This is one of my favorite tools I use to “humanize” the characters I create. There are literally endless ways to convey it in story text and dialogue for the reader to relate to. I use a great many of them, but some I use more than others.

So to the other authors here: do you use hand gestures/ body language in your writings and if so, do you have one that’s a personal favorite?
🌹Kant👠👠👠
Not one, but sometimes I like to convey what a character's response is by describing what his/her face is doing: furrowed eyebrows, twists of the mouth, slack jaw, open mouth, that sort of thing. The challenge is to avoid cliche with this sort of thing. And hand gestures -- those can be useful to describe a wide variety of reactions to things.
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Old 04-24-2018, 05:15 PM   #3
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Oh sure, all the time. My favorites are probably "shrugged" and "winced". I use them to convey the attitudes the speaker has towards what they are saying...

"It's no big deal," she shrugged.
"Um, it's kind of a really big deal," he winced.
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Old 04-24-2018, 05:30 PM   #4
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It's not a favourite in that I want to keep using it, but my characters always seem to end up sighing all the time, accompanied by hand gestures like throwing them up in the air. I have to go back through my work just to get rid of half the sighs. It's probably because I spend most of my time at work sighing so it kind of just transmits into my writing.

But gestures and facial expressions etc. are an important tool in conveying mood, especially if it can be difficult to discern the tone of voice the character is using. The important thing though is to not overuse them. Make the gestures meaningful - having one every other sentence makes people skip over them completely and they lose their importance.

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Old 04-24-2018, 05:50 PM   #5
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i'm gay. i write stories about gay men. i'm surprised that the gestures/body language haven't crashed the site yet.
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Old 04-24-2018, 05:54 PM   #6
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I don't have a favorite. There are too many and they vary from character to character. I often combine them with dialogue tags to indicate how the line is spoken.
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:11 PM   #7
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I'm dubious about using body language in my stories or in real life.

Why?

I have had a damaged spine for over 35 years with fused vertebrae and no disks in my back. It makes me appear stiff and unbending because I AM stiff and unbending. The human resources people who use body language indicators at interviews misread my body language because I cannot move in the same way as normally flexible people. It's a disability that isn't instantly obvious.
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Old 04-24-2018, 06:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kantarii View Post
So to the other authors here: do you use hand gestures/ body language in your writings and if so, do you have one that’s a personal favorite? 👠👠
Constantly.

Quote:
Amanda took two steps back, as if to look at him from a distance. She hung one hand on her hip, exaggerating her dancer's counterpoint stance, while her other hand supported her chin, the classic thinker's pose. She looked at Adam, as if scrutinising him for the first time. "What kind of a man? Hmmm, let me see."
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
I'm dubious about using body language in my stories or in real life.

Why?

I have had a damaged spine for over 35 years with fused vertebrae and no disks in my back. It makes me appear stiff and unbending because I AM stiff and unbending. The human resources people who use body language indicators at interviews misread my body language because I cannot move in the same way as normally flexible people. It's a disability that isn't instantly obvious.
I had a roommate who had similar. In her case it was severe scoliosis. She had a rod put in her back. She was forced to stand and sit very upright and could not bend. If she dropped something on the floor, it generally stayed there until someone else could pick it up.

You also couldn't go by the look on her face because her face was often contorted or frozen in pain.
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Old 04-24-2018, 07:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
I have had a damaged spine for over 35 years with fused vertebrae and no disks in my back. It makes me appear stiff and unbending because I AM stiff and unbending. The human resources people who use body language indicators at interviews misread my body language because I cannot move in the same way as normally flexible people. It's a disability that isn't instantly obvious.
This sort of misreading is a recurring issue in my current story, about a relationship between two autistic women. Sometimes I have to go out of my way to "perform" the body language that other people are expecting, even though it's not how I would naturally express myself, because they insist on these crappy one-model-fits-all rules of body language instead of just listening to my words.
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Old 04-25-2018, 04:37 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kantarii View Post
This is one of my favorite tools I use to “humanize” the characters I create. There are literally endless ways to convey it in story text and dialogue for the reader to relate to. I use a great many of them, but some I use more than others.

So to the other authors here: do you use hand gestures/ body language in your writings and if so, do you have one that’s a personal favorite?
🌹Kant👠👠👠
Sure. I think it's an important element of communication.
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Old 04-25-2018, 05:53 AM   #12
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kantarii View Post
This is one of my favorite tools I use to “humanize” the characters I create. There are literally endless ways to convey it in story text and dialogue for the reader to relate to. I use a great many of them, but some I use more than others.

So to the other authors here: do you use hand gestures/ body language in your writings and if so, do you have one that’s a personal favorite?
🌹Kant👠👠👠
You totally rock! *Gives thumbs up. Disappears into hall. Pauses at door and flips hair. Looks over shoulder and gives smouldering look as he closes bathroom door.*
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Old 04-25-2018, 06:00 AM   #13
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Constantly, I like to think.

My characters are very expressive. Using their hands to express themselves in an animated fashion (they're often of French-Canadian descent), also prone to facial expressions and body language. For example...

“Well, octopuses have tentacles,” Jeanie reasoned, shrugging. “Remember that art you showed me? The Fishy Naughty Wife?”

Freja closed her eyes for a moment, trying to parse out what her darling spouse could possibly mean. “Oh!” she said finally. “The Dream Of The Fisherman’s Wife, that shunga art.”

“Yeah, sure.” Jeanie agreed readily. “The octopus.”

“I… no, my love, that was just some weird Japanese artist doing something weird. They have tentacles, the octopuses, but that picture is not telling the whole truth. It was sucking on her cunt, yes, but real octopuses have beaks.”

Jeanie paused. “Beaks?”

“Ja, beaks. Like parrots.” Freja confirmed. She made a C-shape with her fingers and tapped the tips together, making a clacking noise with her tongue.

“Ooh, owie, no,” Jeanie said, making a wry face and squirming uncomfortably. “No beaks, no. That’d bite my snizz off.”

“Ja, and only I am allowed to bite your snizz,” Jeanie agreed. “So, no, no octopuses for you.”

"Poo," Jeanie pouted, her hands in her lap. "So where do we find tentacles to fuck us, then?"

- From My 'Freja & Jeanie' series, Chapter 2. (WIP)

I like to think I'm pretty good at it, if somewhat weird on occasion.
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:04 AM   #14
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*Cranks up stereo to hear "New York, New York". Comes down hall from bathroom and pauses at hallway entry into living room.

"Start spreading the news......." begins to play. Kicks out hairy leg and enters room sashaying and kicking in bath robe.
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Old 04-25-2018, 10:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
I'm dubious about using body language in my stories or in real life.

Why?

I have had a damaged spine for over 35 years with fused vertebrae and no disks in my back. It makes me appear stiff and unbending because I AM stiff and unbending. The human resources people who use body language indicators at interviews misread my body language because I cannot move in the same way as normally flexible people. It's a disability that isn't instantly obvious.
I hope to be as stiff and unbending as you when I'm your age
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Old 04-26-2018, 01:35 PM   #16
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*ThatsTheGuy walks in on his lunch break*

Hi Kids! Just though I drop in to see how things are going! *ducks as chair comes flying over his head*

You seem a little busy kids. I'll be on my way. *slams door as plate crashes into closed door*
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Old 04-26-2018, 05:20 PM   #17
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I’m going to raise my eyebrow at the fact more people didn’t respond🌹
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Old 04-26-2018, 05:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kantarii View Post
I’m going to raise my eyebrow at the fact more people didn’t respond🌹
I did. I don't use body language in my stories and I explained why I didn't.
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electricblue66:
It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

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Old 04-26-2018, 06:45 PM   #19
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I’m going to raise my eyebrow at the fact more people didn’t respond🌹
I'll raise you two finger taps on the rim of a coffee cup.
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Old 04-27-2018, 01:09 AM   #20
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I'll raise you two finger taps on the rim of a coffee cup.
Hahaha... that made me laugh.🌹 Should we wait until someone ups the ante by circling a finger on their shot glass with a sigh while drumming their fingers on the bar, mulling a higher bet?🌹
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Last edited by Kantarii : 04-27-2018 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 04-27-2018, 02:50 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Kantarii View Post
I’m going to raise my eyebrow at the fact more people didn’t respond🌹
*raises eyebrow*

Personally, I like this thread. I use gestures and body language often. Most writers do. Some even deny it, but it's all in their stories and they don't see it.

A few, like oggbashan, don't do that and I see it as part of his style/technique.
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Old 04-27-2018, 05:35 AM   #22
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...

A few, like oggbashan, don't do that and I see it as part of his style/technique.
I try to avoid too many physical attributes in most of my stories unless they are relevant to the plot.

My rationale is that the reader can assign his/her own perception of the character. If they like tall? The character can be tall. If they like redheads? The character can be red-headed.

Unfortunately - it doesn't seem to work. Universal characters are bland.
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It's like [oggbashan] is writing for the third puffin over there by the sixth rock, when everyone else is an emperor penguin in the Antarctic, where there's tens of thousands of the bastards.

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Old 04-27-2018, 06:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatsTheGuy View Post
*raises eyebrow*

Personally, I like this thread. I use gestures and body language often. Most writers do. Some even deny it, but it's all in their stories and they don't see it.

A few, like oggbashan, don't do that and I see it as part of his style/technique.
I can respect his stance. I’ve read a couple of his stories and found them to be enjoyable to read. I, myself, seek to humanize my characters as much as possible. I use hand gestures and facial expressions quite a bit in my stories. There are certain points in each chapter where I struggle to get just the right facial expression or gesture that sets certain points off to stand out. 🌹Kant
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I AM FANTASY!
I am the shadows in your mind ... The gateway to your fantasies...
I am your dreams made reality ... And, the lust in your eyes...
♫♪ But, what's puzzling you is the nature of my game! ♪♫
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My Newest Storyline 🌹”Best Friends Forever” 🌹A story from my personal diary where friendship turns sexual.

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