And, honestly, it was dang fun. (Speaking of dang fun, my sons just called my name, I responded with "What?" and they informed me that I have "five minutes to get rid of that word," meaning I have to get someone else to say it. All together, now: "What?")
Where was I? Oh yes. The glories of non-verbal communication.
You might find this attitude strange in someone who loves to talk as much as I do. I am quite enamored with the sound of my own voice, I'm not what anyone would call shy, never have been, and I have a very healthy respect for the power and overall convenience of words. In fact, one of my high school friends once declared, while I was on an overnight trip with her family, that I could never go a single hour without talking. Boy was she sorry when I shut up until the next morning! :)
Faces are expressive. Bodies are constantly "talking." A change of posture or a well-placed eyebrow can communicate as much as a thousand words (just like your average picture).
The challenge for a writer, of course, is putting these expressions into words. This is not impossible. Observe:
"John, I need to talk to you," Marsha said.Do we need the dialogue to know that Marsha wants to talk to John? How about this one:
Glaring at John, Marsha stood, folded her arms, then jerked her head toward the door.
"If you kids don't settle down right now, you're going to walk home," Mom repeated for the tenth time.Which one is more effective?
Mom flicked the turn signal on, swerved to the side of the road, and stomped on the brake. She jabbed the button to unlock the doors and pointed out the passenger side window.
Now, as you've noticed, non-verbal communication uses more words to record. Some might call it inefficient. A whole book with nothing but non-verbal communication would be a massive tome, indeed.
Doesn't mean it's not more fun.
What do you think? Are there places in your WIP where non-verbal communication is / would be more effective than dialogue?