Sunday, February 20, 2011

This Week's Practice Exercise

Non-verbal cues

Prepared by: Rhéal Nadeau
Reposted, revised: 20 February 2011
Exercise:  In 300 words or less, write a scene making it clear to the reader what your character is thinking or feeling using non-verbal cues only.
Experts say the majority of communication is non-verbal--body language, eye movements, facial expressions, etc. How often have you known something was wrong with a friend or loved one, without a verbal clue?  The purpose of this exercise is to make us think about how we ascertain a person's attitude from non-verbal cues. Rely only on body language and other visual clues to realistically portray what a character is thinking and feeling without dialogue. If you use dialogue, don't give away the character's emotion in what is spoken.
When you critique, be sure to mention what you believe the character is feeling or thinking. Comment on the cues that led you to that conclusion. Point it out if the writer tells rather than shows.
These exercises were written by IWW members and administrators to provide structured practice opportunities for its members. You are welcome to use them for practice as well. Please mention that you found them at the Internet Writing Workshop.

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