One of the greatest challenges to effective creative writing is knowing how to communicate what a character is thinking or feeling without being overt. Often, you don’t need to get into deep dialogue or inner narrative to help the reader understand the thoughts or feelings of your characters. All you need is body language.
For those who want to learn more about body language, the Body Language Project website has a lot of information that will be VERY useful for your writing.
Disclaimer: This website is very much aimed at “using body language for dating/romance”, and a great deal of the content focuses on interpreting body language in order to understand attraction, sex, etc. Ignore that part of the content, and read the part that pertains to showing emotions.
The beauty of this website is that it has hundreds of pages with explanations on just about every type of basic body language out there. For example, on the Nonverbal Cue Catalog page, you’ll find articles on facial expressions, subtle body language, posture differences, types of smiles, eye contact, and more.
The Body Language Category index on the right side of the page will help you find what you’re looking for quickly. The list covers just about every emotion and intention you will be writing about, so it’s a handy resource to help you write body language in a clear, concise way.
Now, bear in mind that this resource isn’t necessarily aimed at writers. Some of the explanations are a bit long-winded, so you may have to adapt/shorten them to suit your needs. But knowing how people express their feelings and thoughts in basic body language will come in VERY handy in your creative writing.
Want to find what you’re looking for more quickly? Do a Google search for “site:bodylanguageproject.com + your query (“anger”, “happiness”, etc.). Google will search all of the indexed pages to find what you want without your having to browse the website or click through all the links.