Here’s kind of a neat thing: author and doctor of clinical psychology Carolyn Kaufman has released a one-page body language cheat sheet of psychological “tells” (
PDF link looks like Carolyn’s taken down her free resource!—MWS) fiction writers can use to dress their characters.
As someone credited / blamed with a “cinematic” writing style, I’m always giving my characters “business” to do. Their eyebrows arch, they sneer, grin, cough into their hands, shrug, fiddle with things, pace, bite their nails or their lips, scratch the sides of their faces… they’re always moving, and I’m always at risk of making them into moving cliches.
So, I was pleased to learn of Kaufman’s writers’ aid, and I’m interested in checking out her book, too!
For the writers out there: what habits have you given your characters? For the readers: what are some of the most memorable “tells” of your favorite fictional characters? Let’s talk about it in the comments!