Speaking for myself, I know how difficult it can sometimes be to ‘show not tell’ when I’m writing. I’m usually so preoccupied with the storyline and flow of the novel that I struggle with a character’s habits.
However, as I’m also an avid reader, I understand the sense of frustration when writers use repetitive mannerisms throughout a novel.
In Fifty Shades of Grey for example, characters roll their eyes 41 times and raise their eyebrows a whopping 50 times. Still, it was a best-seller!
But it’s not easy to stop and consider this when you’re on a roll writing your novel!
So I have compiled a list of mannerisms to help aspiring writers. Here it is. I hope it helps!
Apprehension: Locked ankles
Anticipation: Rubbing hands
Anger, frustration, apprehension: Hands clasped behind back
Boredom: Prolonged tilted head
Boredom: Sitting with legs crossed, foot kicking slightly
Boredom: Head resting in hand, eyes downcast
Confidence: Brisk, erect walk
Confidence, superiority: Sitting with hands clasped behind head, legs crossed
Doubt, disbelief: Rubbing the eye
Defensive: Arms crossed on chest
Dejection: Walking with hands in pockets, shoulders hunched
Disbelief: Looking down, face turned away
Evaluation, thinking: Hand to cheek
Impatience: Tapping or drumming fingers
Interest: Quickly tilted head
Insecurity, nervousness: Biting nails
Indecision: Pulling or tugging at ear
Lack of self-confidence; insecurity: Patting/fondling hair
Negative evaluation: Pinching bridge of nose, eyes closed
Open, relaxed: Sitting, legs apart
Readiness, aggression: Standing with hands on hips
Rejection, doubt, lying: Touching, slightly rubbing nose
Sincerity, openness, innocence: Open palm
Trying to make a decision: Stroking chin
Until my next blog – Happy Writing!