Tuesday, August 9, 2011

SAMPLE IT: 15 ways to write Angry Dave

I've been reading up on body language as I often get tired of using the same old social cues to let the readers know how the character is feeling. So I can use pronouns as well as nouns, I called him Dave. Why? I like the name. So I figured I'd list a bundle of ways to clue the reader into the fact that Dave is angry. Some of them are cliches, some are (hopefully) unique. All should hopefully be worthwhile. I'll throw in a bit of dialogue to make it more interesting.

1. "Oh yeah?" He pounded his fist into the palm of his hand.
2. Dave smacked the table. "You!"
3. Dave ground his teeth together. "Come here."
4. "Sir!" He gritted his teeth and squared off his shoulders.
5. He glared at her. "What do you want?"
6. He grabbed her chin and squeezed.
7. "Thanks for that!" he spat.
8. He flicked a thumbnail against his teeth. "Screw you!"
9. He flipped her the middle finger.
10. He jerked a thumb against his throat with a grin. "See you later..."
11. His nostrils flared with each breath. "You..."
12. Dave's hands balled into fists.
13. "How dare you!" His forefinger stabbed out in time with the words.
14. Dave stomped his foot. "Not fair!"
15. Dave's face turned brick red as he stood trembling with rage before her.

Yeah, I know, No. 7 could count as a saidism. I think it's okay if you quite literally mean that there was a spray of spittle.

Does anyone else know any behavioral cues to add to the list? Or any particularly well-worded line you've read anywhere? Let's add to the list.

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