Hey there! Lots of writers liked my list of facial expressions, so I thought I would do a companion post about gestures and body language. Describing these can help readers visualize a scene and get a feel for the characters, and again, they can set up lines of dialogue so you don’t have a string of he said, she said, he asked, she exclaimed, etc., running down the page.
You might want to consider which gestures or what body language is typical for each of your characters. For instance, one of my characters in the novel I just finished tends to hug herself when she’s nervous, while another has a habit of rubbing at his shoulder when he’s uncomfortable. They only do it a few times each throughout the book, but I think details like that make characters feel more solid.
For a great guide to what body language means, I recommend What Every BODY Is Saying, by former FBI counterintelligence offer Joe Navarro and body language expert Marvin Karlins.
Some of the things in my list are not exactly body language or gestures, but are useful for dialogue tags. As with the last list, I’ve included some different ways to say the same thing. There are some longer phrases and sentences, which you can obviously rewrite and adjust as you like, although you don’t have to. Nothing here is proprietary.
Read the full article: http://www.bryndonovan.com/2015/04/10/master-list-of-gestures-and-body-language-for-writers/