Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thursday Review - The Power of Body Language by Tonya Reiman

Guest post by Lynn Huggins Blackburn.

What criteria do you use to decide which book will be your next choice in your never-ending quest to improve your writing skills?

Maybe you read about it here at The Write Conversation, which is how I find most of my selections.

Maybe a fellow writer mentions a book that helped them. Or maybe an author you admire has written a book on writing and you want to see what they have to say.

But my guess is that, as a general rule, the books you read to hone your craft are about writing. Am I right? Well, not this one.

Um, Lynn, this is a blog about writing. And this post is supposed to help us find books on writing . . .

I agree. But . . . what if a Christy award winning author told you to read this book?

Yeah. That’s what I thought. You’d read it, too. And yes, that is exactly how The Power of Body Language went to the top of my “must read” list.

The Power of Body Language by Tonya Reiman wasn't written for writers and it has a distinctly secular worldview. But any writer who has ever struggled not to name an emotion will find useful guidance in these pages. With chapters on The Language of the Face, The Language of the Body, The Languages of Space and Touch, and the Language of Sound, a writer can break out of their “nodding and shrugging” rut (come on, you know you’ve got one) and find new ways to add vibrancy to their characterization.

The chapters on first impressions and secret signals are full of details that the creative mind can run wild with. Is one of your characters lying to the other? Or falling out of love? Or about to be fired? You’ll find lists of body movements and signals to describe all of these situations and more.

And it’s not just your fictional characters who will benefit from this book. If you take some of the advice on first impressions to heart, it certainly can’t hurt when it comes time for that face-to-face meeting with an editor or agent at your next writers conference.

Let us know - what other “non-writing” books have you found useful?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!

Lynn Huggins Blackburn has been telling herself stories since she was five and finally started writing them down. On her blog Out of the Boat she writes about faith and family while her blog Perpetual Motion documents the joys and challenges of loving and rearing a child with special needs. A graduate of Clemson University, Lynn lives in South Carolina where she writes, reads, knits, takes care of two amazing children, one fabulous man and one spoiled rotten Boston Terrier.


  1. This is one topic I haven't heard talked about on a writing blog! Great recommendation. Going to see if I can download a copy to my Kindle.
    Thanks, Tonya.

  2. Sounds like a great resource, Lynn! I'll order it right now. Thanks for sharing it with us. :-)