Or was it "Deets?" I don't know. Either way, lets get down to what I want to talk about: Details.
I am a dyslexic. I will level with you on that. As a result, I had to learn growing up to pay extra close attention to writing and had to write a lot to learn to spell semi-decent. Though to be honest I am so insecure about it still, that I cannot write while someone watches without getting panicky. But I have a vivid imagination an as a result, when I wrote, I wrote stories. I got to be pretty good at it. Then, in college I have taken three classes on writing, plus another on world lit and another theater lit.
None of that is to brag, actually quite the opposite. Its to show that I had to take a literal lifetime of practice to learn how to write well. Now, to get what I wanted to say in the first place; people do things.
Hold up before you change blogs and let me explain what I mean by that. You know the nervous laugh that girl gives you when you flirt with her? Or that way that you swallow when you finish processing a thought to prepare for speaking? Or the way that your hands move when you talk? (Yes they do. Most people do gesture and have their own actual hand gestures that are to their personality. No, not that gesture, silly. :p)
The point is when your mouth is moving, unless your a classically trained orator, chances are your body is moving too. Yes, that's right, its called 'Non-verbal communication" and here, on this forum you have chances to do tons of it as your character speaks. It adds a whole nother dimension to their communication. Watch this:
"I don't know where they are," said Shelia. "Can I go home now?"
Ok, so you get the point, right? Makes sense, its a legible sentence. She doesn't know where they are. Now, how about we shake things up by adding some non-verbal communication. Here are a few examples just off the top of my head
"I don't know where they are," said Sheila swallowing hard, "Can I go home now?"
"I don't know where they are," said Sheila with a lazy shrug as she shifted her weight," Can I go home now?"
"I don't know where they are," said Sheila as she fidgeted with her hair, "Can I go home now?"
"I don't know where they are," said Sheila with a wink, "Can I go home now?"
"I don't know where they are," said Sheila as she folded her arms, "Can I go home now?"
"I don't know where they are," said Sheila when her eyes flickered, "Can I go home now?"
Did you see that? Did you SEE that???? The same words had a totally different meaning when a layer of non-verbal communication was added. It went from a plain statement of fact to oh-my-goodness a real life-like statement by a real, life-like being!
How can you add this? Look at people. Watch what they do when they talk. I have always been fascinated by this. Its super cool. Try to imagine what your character would do to help display what they feel as they say what they do. Write that in. We are twitchy people, so breaking thought every now and then to say what they do to express the emotion they feel can also give other writers a chance to know how to react to it too, feeding the cycle! Its endless fun!!
Here are a few basic Non-verbal communications I like to use to get you started. Feel free to add your own!
-Rubs face
-Stretches (arms, neck, back, etc)
-Pinches bridge of nose (for frustration)
-Grits teeth
-Purses lips
-bites lip
-Chews on lip (lots of lip action, I know ;) )
-Clenches fist
-eye brow twitch
-hand gestures (from grand, broad hand sweeps to minor points and wrist flicks)
-lick lips
-scraches (back, side, arm, hand, leg, whatever)
-Deep inhale/exhale
-eye flickers
-Eye darts
-drumming fingers
-and many many more!
Hope this helps everyone, and happy posting! :)