>I recently read a post on gesture crutches and it caught me by surprise. First off, I’ve never heard of these and so I had to do some research. Please tell me I’m not the only clueless writer out there 😉
So it took some digging, but I think I figured it out. Gesture crutches are those words we writers LOVE to use. Shrug, nod, sigh, smile … as I’m going through my current story I’m going to highlight all these words and figure out different ways to SHOW vs TELL.
It’s hard though to be original, to show our character react without using these crutch words. And to be honest, it’s not fair to expect our beta readers to catch them either. It’s our responsibility to deal with these words, to familiarize ourselves with them and to know how to NOT use these crutches.
The more I think about it, the more involved it is with the whole ‘show vs tell’ that we groan about. Don’t tell me he smiled, show me. But how? When we say ‘she smiled’, while we might understand what WE mean by it, I can guarantee our reader doesn’t. She she smile to entice? Smile to show agreement? Smile to show she was happy?
When we say ‘she smiled’ it only tells how our character reacts, not how or even why.
Sigh. Since I’m not in the editing process, you know what this means, right?