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Reading People

I was in the JFK airport a couple of months ago and picked up a book called,”Reading People” by Jo-Ellan Dimitrius and Wendy Patrick Mazzarella. 

Aside from the fact that I am in marketing and the information might prove useful, I was wondering how relevant understanding people and being able to predict behavior might translate into writing more believable characters.

The writing is conversational…and luckily, it doesn’t have the major fault so many of these types of books have…that is repeating the same information in different words.  The content is substantive and I found myself putting post its with messages to myself as possible character development traits for different characters.

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It is an easy read.  It is a good mixture of casual description and concrete examples.  I liked the first impressions chapter because with fine detail, the authors examined every physical feature, every action, reaction, and verbal utterance to create our first impression.  They also cover why our first impressions could be faulty and how we communicate or miscommunicate with our clothes and body language. 

As we get older, we become more astute at reading people.  We are more analytical and introspective.  Reading People organizes our observations, connects the dots between what we see and hear and what reality is.  This is fertile ground for characterizations.

Let me hear what you think.  Do you have any books that you really liked?

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