Make them feel it – let the body talk in your writing

A quick one today as I’m trying to train myself into sticking (roughly) to a schedule in order to progress work on a couple of projects at a time (more on motivation soon!)  On one of my projects I’m trying to inject life and tension into a novel that’s already in pretty good shape but needs to grab us by the vitals more.  I recently found a terrific post by Angie Capozello on the Friday Flash site that talks about how she puts body language to use in spicing up her work.

Rouse the reader

She talks about getting up close and personal, but the only seduction is that of the reader. Our characters glare, frown and grin she says but what is the body doing, if they brush against someone, pick up and object, look at their watch there is a direct physical react, and, says Angie, OUR bodies react to these descriptions too.

Get real

She also makes an important point of looking at our use of the word ‘Like’ . If we say something is ‘like’ we are making an intellectual comparison with an object, not eliciting a visceral response. She also talks about our physical reaction to the description of textures. Think of sharp glass, pine needles, pebbledash walls – these evoke a response.

Let your characters react

Angie gives a great example of a piece of dialogue where one protagonist describes how he feels about someones eyes. Our characters don’t just observe, they also have physical responses. Dialogue can be set on fire by characters talking about their own sensations.

Read the great article here in full and let me know the tricks you use to try to make your work visceral and vivid.

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