Alternatives to Shaking or Nodding Heads

wordcloudWho doesn’t love a wee word cloud? I came up with this one to help myself and to help you.

Some time ago, I found an interesting discussion online about characters forever shaking or nodding their heads. “Aha!” I thought. “Me too! Yes, my characters have become flippin’ marionettes.”

Or characters from a Twilight novel. I can’t confirm that last comment as it’s a long time since I read any of the Twilight series and at the time I didn’t look out for excessive head nodding or shaking.

When you’re writing communication scenes, the first technique you use is dialogue. But if you have ever watched people communicate with each other, you soon realise the words they speak only make up a tiny part of communication.

(70 percent, I was told once.)

The rest of it is body language, tone of voice, pitch and what the eyes are doing. And yes, we all nod and shake our heads frequently.

So, how do you make your writing less repetitive? You find other ways for your characters to communicate non-verbally. Other examples include – she signalled her disagreement or agreement, he acknowledged the truth, she moved her head up and down, he moved his head from side to side, he saw that she didn’t want to accompany him…