Along the same lines as the last entry—thinking about being specific. Avoid generic physical gestures. We need physical description to make a scene real but having someone drink a glass of wine or light a smoke, say, during dialogue just to get some physical gestures into the manuscript won’t do much to improve it. It might even work against the scene’s momentum and undercut the reader’s confidence in the writer.
Just as the description needs to communicate something more than generic, paint-by-number scenery, physical gestures need to communicate more. Everything has to be loaded with the expression of the moment-by-moment life of a scene.
This is hard to do and, if you’re like me, it will take many revisions to get past the generic to the particular.
Or so I think today.