I'd like to take today to talk about one of my favorite movies. Hitch. You know, the wonderful one with Will Smith? No? You've seen it. Trust me. Check out this HILARIOUS scene:
I told you you've seen it. Now, Will Smith says a hell of a lot of funny/deep/possibly true things in this movie, but what always gets me is this: "60% of all human communication is nonverbal. Body language. 30% is your tone. So that means that 90% of what you're saying ain't coming out of your mouth."
Say what? Yes. Body Language is imperative for communicating with the opposite sex. Really, it's kind of imperative for communicating with... anyone. If body language is so important in real life, it obviously has a place in books. But where? That's the subject I'm trying to tackle today.
Body language can make or break an otherwise average story. It can be used to break up dialogue, give away emotion, or even further the plot.
I'm going to go ahead and bring in another pop culture reference (because I love 'em so much). It's one of my absolute favorite shows, on its third season, and it's all about lying. The lying in the show is all about body language. Here, watch this:
See? See what I'm talking about? If your characters are sharp enough, there's a whole lot of goodness in body language. So next time you start a scene, keep in mind that the protagonist might clench his fist when he gets angry. Or he might see someone leaning close to a supposedly "platonic" friend. Maybe the heroine will shrug instead of responding to her parents. Or the antagonist might smile at just the wrong time and wind up getting himself caught by the police.
Alright, so these are a lot of random possibilities, but just think about it. Body language can be a bit tedious when you're trying to worry about characters, plot, and keeping your writing crisp, but it can also be hella fun.