About The Author

Katie Salidas is a USA Today bestselling author and RONE award winner known for her unique genre-blending style.

Since 2010 she's penned five bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, Chronicles of the Uprising, and the all-new Agents of A.S.S.E.T. series. As her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.

In her spare time Katie also produces and hosts a YouTube talk show; Spilling Ink. She also has a regular column on First Comics News where she explores writing from a nerdy perspective.

Writing Visual Emotions ( Body Language) In Your Story

Body Language plays a huge part in Showing vs. Telling. 

The unspoken elements of body language are one of the elements that can truly make the character feel well rounded and believable. So we’re going to take the next few minutes to show examples of these elements, how they are described, and what meanings they hold, both for the character acting them out on the page, and the reader inferring their meaning. 

Let’s look at the key parts of the body and how their movement equates to meaning. Then we’ll go into how they work together to become the unspoken but very much understood language of emotion.


A nod, bob, tilt, or shake can mean a variety of things. 

Body Language Cheat Sheet Head


Our face tells a lot about how we are feeling. The way we curl our lips, hold our head, or the way we avoid looking at things reveals what is going on under the surface. Take a look at these examples below to see how each description correlates to its meaning. 

Visual Emotions for authors (Body Language Cheat Sheet)


The eyes are more than just a colorful element to the face. The way they move can tell us a lot about what a character is thinking, or what they may be hiding in contrast to how they speak. With a wink or a blink, you can convey interest, anger, and much more. 

Visual Emotions for authors (Body Language Cheat Sheet)


The lips and jaw are very revealing features. The way you use them can convey happiness, sadness, or secretiveness. Do you chew your lips when you’re nervous? Do you clench your jaw when you’re stressed? These descriptive additions can help emphasize the emotions that a character may not reveal through speech.

Visual Emotions for authors


We move various parts of our body to emphasize or some-times hide how we feel. Body language experts can tell you what a person is not saying just by how they move. You too, as the author can use these clues to reveal what is going on under the surface when your characters are interacting with each other. 
Body Language Cheat Sheet


When a character’s body is in full view, whether sitting or standing, the way they hold themselves reveals a variety of important clues.

Visual Emotions for Writing

Now that we have a base to work from, let's put these visual clues together to reveal the emotions of a character to our readers. This is how we Show, not Tell. 


This is by no means an exhaustive list of traits belonging to each emotion, nor is it a complete list of emotions. It is meant to give you a base to pull from when attempting to show the unspoken elements that relate to the emotions your character may be feeling. 

Body Language Cheat Sheet for writers

This is what I often refer back to when revising my work to add more emotional clues. If you want to learn more tips and tricks to make your writing sizzle, check out Write and Edit The Damn Book

Writing Visual Emotions ( Body Language)