1000 + WAYS TO SHOW YOUR CHARACTERS EMOTIONS

 

Agitation
Jerky movements
Rubbing – pinching the back of neck
Pacing
Restlessness
Flapping hands
Wavering voice
Adjusting – pulling – tugging clothes
Not knowing where to look
Pacing
Turning away from others
Flaring nostrils
Sucking on tongue
Scrunching up lips
Narrowing eyes
Jutting jaw
Clenching fists
Clearing the throat


Anger
Bared teeth
Jutting Chin
Flared nostrils
Squinting eyes
Protruding eyes
Staring
Stamping a foot
Shaking a fist
Cracking knuckles
Slamming fists onto things
Kicking things
Sweeping arm gestures
Wide-legged stance
Flushed face
Throbbing veins in neck – forehead (cliché)
Noisy breathing
Eyes that glare
Deepening voice tone


Confusion
Rubbing the chin
Tilted head
Shrugging
Exaggerated swallowing
Stuttering
Biting the lip
Grimacing
Rubbing the chin
Scratching head
Touching neck
Exessive swollowing
Stuttering
Asking person to repeat what was said
Zoning out
Running hands through hair
Head flinching back
Blinking rapidly
Trying to talk but nothing comes out
Wrinkling the forehead
Tapping fingers or knuckles against lip


Defeat
Non-responsiveness
Lowering chin
Vacent eyes
Slumping into chair – sofa – bed
Limp posture
Staring at toes or hands
Vibrating chin


Defiance
Cocked head
Grinding teeth
Puffed-out chest
Slight smirk
Relaxed eyes
Raised eyebrows


Determination
Clenched fists
Jaw thrust forward
Pushing up sleeves (cliché)
Steepled fingers
Set eye contact
Strong posture
Straightened back
Chin lifted
A quick, fast paced stride
Pressing lips together


Disagreement
Crossed arms
Turning away
Relaxed posture
One leg crossed over the other in seated position
Shaking head
Changing the topic
Relaxed eyes
Twitching nose


Disappointment
Hard swallow
Shuffling feet
Stolid expression
Wincing or flinching


Disapproval
Constricted pupils
Outstaring someone
Tight lips
Walking away without letting someone finish their sentence


Disbelief
Palm on chest
Rapid blinking
Turning pale
Unfocussed gaze


Discomfort
Pained grimace
Repeatedly shifting body weight from one foot to the other
Rubbing back of neck, chin, or forehead
Shuffling feet


Doubt
Biting the cheek
Cramming hands in pockets
Forcing the lips together
Rocking on the feet


Embarrassment
Blushing
Coughing
Sweating
Wincing or flinching


Exasperation
Making a rude gesture
Raising hands in an I-give-up gesture
Running fingers through hair
Scoping out the ceiling


Impatience
Crossing the arms
Repeatedly checking the time
Standing akimbo (hands on hips, elbows turned out)
Watching the door


Insecurity
Checking one’s breath behind an open hand
Closed posture
Fiddling with hair or biting nails
Hiding hands in pockets or behind back


Introspection
Gazing past/around someone while speaking
Glancing downward during conversation
Lowered head
Quiet mood


Irritation
Arguing
Crossing the arms
Narrowing the eyes
Raising the voice


Nervousness
Dilated pupils
Drumming fingers
Excessive blinking
Rapid breathing


Oppression
Folded hands and bowed head
Slow, soft speech
Standing with weight on one leg, other leg angled away from body
Teeth clamped on upper lip


Pessimism
Single arched eyebrow
One hand on hip
Wide eyes
Lopsided sneer


Shame
Crying
Hiding the face with hair or hat
Involuntary moan
Scuffing a toe against carpet or dirt


Skepticism
Hand gesture of dismissal
Cutting someone off in mid-sentence
Wrinkled nose
Condescending smile


Stubbornness
Fixed stare
Set jaw
Tapping foot


Uncertainty
Interrupting one’s own dialogue
Rubbing the chin
Tugging on the lip
Shrugging


Unease
Clammy hands
Licking or biting the lips
Picking at food
Repetitive actions that accomplish nothing


Worry
Puffy eyes with dark pouches beneath
Poor personal grooming
Calling police or other support services
Poor sleep habits

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