The Next Layer Of Dialogue: Body Language

From the archives: What is the role of body language in our stories?

Allison Maruska

Last week, I participated in J. A. Allen‘s Sunday Scribble Challenge, wherein we write a brief entry in response to a prompt. This was last week’s prompt:


Two sentences isn’t much space, unless you write a bunch of clauses with commas, and those aren’t my style. So I had to rely on something else to relay a dishonest character.

Body language1

Ah, body language, the magnificent medium to communicate much more than our words. We rely on it in our daily lives. The most popular statistic states only 7% of communication comes from the words themselves – the rest comes from body language and elements such as tone and inflection (click here for an article explaining these numbers in more detail).

Makes you wonder how much we really say via texting, doesn’t it?

In fiction writing, body language does several jobs. We use it to show how a character is feeling or that…

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