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Gesture and Non-verbal Communication in Text
magic
tiger_spot
I am going to moderate a panel at 4th Street about gesture and body language in written fiction (it's a fantasy convention, but I think this particular topic is fine with examples from other genres). What are some of your favorite / least favorite / most memorable written descriptions of gestures, expressions, postures, and other forms of non-verbal communication?

Janet Kagan was really good at this--Hellspark's plot hinges on body language, and there's some good worldbuilding in Mirabile.

Also Miles's invisible hat with the enormous plume.

I have a vague recollection of it being a trope of "secret immortals" stories that they're never clumsy or awkward because they've been in their bodies for so long.

If you want to get into fictional artforms...Stardance, hands down.

Litfic...Nana, by Zola.

Mmm, yes! I have not read many of those, but clearly I should. I like that point about secret immortals -- quality of gesture indicating subtler traits.

In my own writing, I actually try to avoid "nodding" and "shaking [the] head" because I've learned it means different things in different cultures. I know "nodding" (up and down motion of head) to mean yes, but elsewhere (I can't remember where) it means no.

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