October 22, 2019

Author Body-Language Cheat Sheet and the Dangers of Cliches

800583Carol Kaufman wrote The Writer’s Guide to Psychology . Her purpose? To help authors better communicate to readers behaviors that can suggest, say, agitation without telling readers this.

She offers a free “Body Language Cheat Sheet,” which is helpful, especially in getting an author’s mind to get just the right clues.

Yet, I feel compelled to offer a word of caution. The notion of cliche and stereotype come from publishing, specifically settingĀ  moveable type. In addition to casting individual characters, common words were cast as a single unit.

Wikipedia.org defines a cliche as “an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning, or effect, and even, to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.”

So, observe, probe, make an analogy–keep your phrases fresh. Let the sheet spark ideas as you press for nuance and pointers.

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