Common Problems in Nonverbal Communication - Deepstash

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Common Problems in Nonverbal Communication

Common Problems in Nonverbal Communication

1. Telling

2. Cliché emotions

3. Melodrama

4. Over-reliance on dialogues or thoughts

5. Misusing backstory to enhance reader empathy

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2. Cliché emotions

2. Cliché emotions

  • Cliches are a sign of lazy writing
  • Create your own observations instead of falling back on clichés
  • Think about your body and what happens to it when you’re feeling a certain emotion
  • You may also observe people in real life or in movies/tv shows to see how they express...

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68 reads

3. Melodrama

3. Melodrama

  • Melodrama leads to a sense of disbelief in the reader because, in real life, emotion isn’t always so demonstrative
  • To avoid melodrama, recognize that emotions run along a continuum, from mild to extreme as emotions vary in strength
  • Make sure that your character’s feelings pro...

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64 reads

5. Misusing backstory to enhance reader empathy

5. Misusing backstory to enhance reader empathy

  • Excessive backstory slows the pace and can bore reader
  • In order to avoid using too much backstory, determine which details from your character’s past are necessary to share

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64 reads

3 Elements Of Nonverbal Communication

3 Elements Of Nonverbal Communication

1. Physical signals

2. Mental responses

3. Internal sensations

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170 reads

Physical Signals

Physical Signals

  • How our bodies respond outwardly when we experience emotion.
  • The stronger the feeling, the more the body reacts
  • Characters are unique and each one may use different physical signals

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1. Telling

1. Telling

Nonverbal communication cannot be told; it must be shown.

You don’t want the reader to only see what’s happening; you want them to feel the emotion, and to experience it along with the character.

Examples of telling:

  • Mr. Paxton’s eyes were sad as he gave her the ne...

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73 reads

4. Over-reliance on dialogues or thoughts

4. Over-reliance on dialogues or thoughts

  • Emotion is much more effectively conveyed through a mixture of dialogue, thoughts, and body language
  • Avoid over-using exclamation points to show intensity
  • Check if some action is needed to breakup the dialogue
  • Check if the character should be saying something instead...

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56 reads

Mental Responses

Mental Responses

  • Offers a window into the thought process.
  • Mental responses are not always rational
  • An excellent way to convey to the reader how a character sees their world
  • An excellent way to demonstrate voice

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104 reads

Internal Sensations

Internal Sensations

  • The most powerful form of nonverbal communication and should be used with the most caution.
  • Instinctive, raw and uncontrolled, triggering the fight-or-flight response
  • Will be felt by readers at a primal level
  • Relying too much on internal sensations can create melodram...

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101 reads

CURATED FROM

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Readers have high expectations. They don’t want to be told how a character feels; they want to experience the emotion for themselves. To make this happen, we must ensure that our characters express their emotions in ways that are both recognizable and compelling to read.

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If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.

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