EXERCISE Body Language

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by Diana, May 27, 2013.

  1. When you're writing out a scene, there are a dozen different ways you can add in details and convey an emotion. A common thing you'll hear in writing workshops is "Show, not tell." Meaning, you don't always want to tell the reader how your character feels, but rather SHOW them through the actions and movements they make.

    We recently did a workshop about how Controlling Objects and how it influences a scene. This exercise will be similar, only instead of controlling objects, you'll be controlling the body.

    Some Examples of Body Language:

    • Showing anger through balled up fists, clenching your teeth, or nostrils flaring.
    • Showing distress or nervousness by shuffling the feet, fidgeting with fingers, or wringing wrists.
    • Showing happiness through a crinkling of the eyes or wistful smiles.
    • Showing sorrow or anguish through grasping the chest, wiping away unseen tears, or a slumping of the shoulders.

    In this exercise, pick an emotion for your scene and express it ONLY through body language!

    - You character may speak and/or be speaking to someone else, but you are not allowed to have them say or think what emotion they are feeling, or use the emotion word in your post! We must be able to figure it out through your character's body language!

    - Make use of the BODY. Interacting with objects is acceptable, but this exercise is focusing on your body language specifically.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Thank Thank x 1
  2. The music thumped loudly with bodies dancing on the dance floor and laughter filling in the space between loud beats. The club was in full swing and everyone seemed to really only care about dancing their cares away. A man sat at the bar, stacking the shot glasses before him as he conversed with a scantily dressed blonde. His round freckled face held laugh lines but his dark eyes suggested he'd felt much differently as of late. "So then I said you her, are you serious?" The woman babbled on. The man ruffled his dyed green and gave her a practiced smile. "You totally told her off right?" He said feigning interest int he story.

    Despite having a woman drunkenly falling on him, his shoulders were slumped. His normally warm orange eyes seemed a bit dimer, sorrow filled. The woman looked away and the man glanced down, his brows furrowing painfully. "Bar keep. White Russian please." He said, trying to hide the pain in his voice. His hand rubbed through his hair, a sigh escaping him. Placing his hands on the bar as he glanced at his finger. His sun tanned skin bore a pale stripe on his left ring finger.

    His hand numbly touched the pale stripe where his wedding ring once was. The drink was provided and a distraction was welcome. A forced smile spread on his face as he took the drink. A smile that didn't reach the corners of his face all the way, the dimness in his eyes. He glanced at the woman beside him, dark circles under his eyes. His eyes looking distantly at her blonde hair though she sat only a foot away. She looked over at him curiously. "You okay Dameyen?" She cooed. That false smile widened as he nodded. "Yea baby. I'm fantastic! I divorced the bitch. I'm single now! Course I'm fantastic." He said in a tone that suggested he was trying to convince himself. But the way the then chugged the alcoholic drink suggested other wise.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  3. "Would you please stop doing that?”
    A young man, perhaps thirty at the most, paced back and forth across the cold, stark room. Dim light filtered through the single window, dirty and cracked in places, giving the room an air of utter abandonment.
    “Oh. Sorry.”
    He stopped and stood still, but that didn’t last a moment. Shakily, he ran his hand through his scruffy hair and leaned against the white-washed wall.
    “Honestly, get yourself together.”
    The man took a breath, willing his legs to stop trembling. He closed his eyes and watched the lights dancing behind his eyelids.
    “You know they’ll be back.”
    He nodded; not because he believed it, but in the vain hope that if he acted like it was true, it would become true.
    “And stop fidgeting!”
    He cringed. Hands dropped from the corners of the flannel shirt, slightly worn from the fellow’s frequent habit.
    “Alright. Now that’s better.”
    Ever so obedient, he nodded in agreement. Still shaking, he slid down the wall until he rested on his knees. He clasped his hands together in soundless prayer.
    “You are so pathetic. You know that, don’t you?”
    He nodded again, a single tear running down his cheek. He sniffled softly, wiping his face with the back of his hand.
    “Coward! You disgust me.”
    A sob broke forth from the man’s lips.
    “Stop your weeping! You don’t know what real pain is!”
    He desperately clutched at himself, curling into a tight ball. Scraping at his ears, he suddenly shrieked, “Shut up!”
    The tears flowed freely now, along with the blood from the sides of his head. Slumping to the floor, he weakly mewled inaudible pleas to whatever powers lay beyond.

    Down the empty hall, an elderly couple shuffled away, listening to the cries of the man locked alone in the room.
    • Thank Thank x 1
  4. ((This is probably a little too morbid, but...eh..))

    Too young, she's too young. They thought. She won't understand...

    A young girl, only about 10, was pacing outside the room. Her face was straight, but no one saw the silent, salty tears drip down her face onto her black dress. She wrung her hands, taking each step slowly. Her eyes were downcast. Their usually bright blue cheerfulness was now as dark as the bottom of the ocean. The doctor walked out of the room suddenly. The girl stopped. Her hands lay silent by her side. Her tears stopped, her head raised, a small ray of sunshine showing in the clouds in her eyes. Her face shined a little, a hint of a smile, but the doctor sighed, his face contorting itself to a compassionate face as he came over. He put a hand on her shoulder, whispering. "I'm sorry."

    The girl's face twisted. Her eyes clouded with disgust, rage. Her mouth frozen in a blood curtling scream. Her hands limp as she dropped to her knees. The silent tears leaving rivers on her sharp cheekbones as the body was taken out of the room. Two nurses she had been with came over. "It'll be all right." they said, fake smiles plastered on their faces, their eyes dull with another day's duty. The girl shook her head, regaining control of herself. The scream gone, replaced with the grim thought of being alone. The eyes, the worst part, filled with revenge. The dark shadow of someone outside the room filled her revengeful eyes. The cheery lines from only a few years of happiness erased, leaving a clean slate. Her little hands curled into balls of fury. She glared at the nurses.
    "It is not 'all right'! He killed her! My proctector...my life.." her voice screamed with agony yet smiled with anger. This was not a happy 10 year old. "He will pay." She finished, stalking out of the room, arms swinging by her side with balled fists. The shadow outside the room smiled. He did kill her, and this is what he wanted.
    • Thank Thank x 1