March 2020 Newsletter

Next HSW Meeting

Saturday March 14 at 10 a.m.
Location: Scheels at Legends in Sparks
     Meeting room is on the second floor to the left of the restrooms. 

Alexanne Stone, who is an expert in body language, will be our guest at this meeting. See Matt’s article below for more details. The morning meeting is free to attend. The workshop will extend to the afternoon, which is a paid workshop for two hours. The cost is $10. You may pay online via PayPal at:

Or you may pay by check or cash at the meeting. See Rene, the treasurer, to pay. 

The meeting will include First Pages. If you wish to participate, please bring only the first page of your work printed in 12 point, double-spaced type. Do not include your name, but the title is okay and the genre is helpful.


 Think of an actor who impresses you. Now think of some characteristic gesture or dramatic moment for that actor. Examples: (Leonard Nimoy) Mr. Spock’s lifted eyebrow; (Marlon Brando) Don Corleone’s dismissive hand gesture; Kate Hepburn’s smile in Philadelphia Story; Humphrey Bogart flicking away a cigarette; (Anthony Hopkins) Hannibal Lecter’s chilling stare.
juliet o'hara eye roll GIF

Not one of these gestures involves talking. These actions are what actors call “business.” With the greats, pieces of business become iconic moments. Certain roles become classics.

The one underlying idea that holds all of these different acting moments together is that they differentiate the characters. Add dialogue and the distinctions between characters become even more pronounced.

What kinds of business are you giving your characters? What kind of dialogue? Subtle gestures worked into your scenes can reinforce the reader’s sense of a character or undercut it. Body language can inform the reader of things unsaid. It can also make characters instantly recognizable. How many times in a review have your read someone lauding that “the characters jumped off the page?” Assuming a reviewer was not on an acid trip and this didn’t really happen, isn’t that the kind of response you want readers to feel about your characters?

Our Body Language Workshop will explore ways to differentiate characters, to make them deeper and more interesting, to give hints and foreshadowing through expressions and gestures.

Alexanne Stone, an expert consultant on body language, will conduct our workshop after the regular meeting on March 14. She held a shorter session with us a few months ago and the response was so positive, we’ve invited her back for an entire workshop.

The session will run all afternoon, so we suggest bringing lunch for the break between the meeting and the workshop. The price is $10 which can be paid directly on our web site before 3/14. Alexanne will conduct a teaser session during our regular meeting from 11 AM to noon, so if you then decide to stay for the workshop, you can pay the fee on-site. Help us out by bringing a check or cash unless you’ll have the ability to go online and pay with your phone or computer.

Critique Group Meeting

Since the regular HSW meeting is extended to the afternoon on Saturday, March 14, Linda Enos’s critique group meeting has been moved to Sunday, March 15 at 11 a.m. at Scheels. This will be in the upstairs meeting rooms.

If you are looking to join or start a critique group, please email Linda at: She will try to connect you with others in your genre. Also if you are looking for a finish group, one that will read and critique on the finished novel, also let Linda know. These tend to form when we have four or five writers ready to do it.

Membership Renewal

If you were an HSW member in 2019 and have not yet renewed, it’s time to do it. After this newsletter, the HSW newsletter will no longer be emailed to you until you renew. In order to enjoy all the privileges of being a member, please renew now. If you have already renewed, thank you.
If you are uncertain if your membership is current, this is the record for your current status showing expiration date:
<< Test Display Name >> << Test Expiration >>

If you believe this is incorrect, please contact Rene at so she can check on it.

Volunteers Needed!

We are currently looking for members to step up to be on the Contest Committee. These members will set up the rules for the next HSW writing contest, administer the contest to include deadlines, judges, prizes, and any other related items. The next planned contest is for a short story. So far, the details have not been set, so that will be the first task. If you are interested, please contact Rene at



Administrator for account
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