I talk with my hands. No I don’t know sign language and no I’m not Italian, even though people have asked me if I am. My hands have a mind of their own and many times I don’t realize what they are doing until I realize the person I’m talking to, is staring at them. My hands will wave and point. Sometimes my palms will go up and my fingers will splay out. Then there are times during stress that my hands will clench and release.
Our hands are probably one of the most expressive parts of our body. They say the eyes are the window to our souls, but our hands can tell people when we are happy, sad, stressed, and angry
Hands can be warm, cold, soft, or rough and calloused. Some hands are small while others are large. There are fat stubby fingers and long slender ones. It’s been said, “Cold hands are a sign of a warm heart.”
I have read that when we write dialogue, our characters should be doing something. When we talk, we don’t just stand there like a statue. If you are talking to me, my hands are all over the place, but not everyone talks with grand gestures. What are your characters doing as they talk to each other? Are their hands clasped behind their back? Is he drumming his fingers on the desk? Maybe she is checking out her manicure.
A tear rolls down his cheek and she gently wipes it away with the tip of her finger.
He shoves his hands in his pockets and looks at the ground.
As you are reading this what are your hands doing? Are they folded in your lap? Maybe you’re tapping on your desk or pulling at that loose thread on your shirt. Scratching, touching, helping, clenching, adjusting our clothes, or running our fingers through our hair, our hands always seem to be doing something.
When we describe our characters we always touch on the obvious. Tall, thin, curvy, dark hair, light skin, etc. But what do your character’s hands say about them?