Reading emotions – East vs. West

I found this while looking up information about facial characteristics and it was just too fascinating to ignore. Basically this study had Caucasian and Asian subjects look at faces and tracked their eye movements as they performed facial recognition tasks and identified emotions.

It found that when reading emotions, Caucasians tended to look at the face as a whole where Asians focused on the eyes. Thus, Asians in the study would miscategorize negative emotions such as mistaking fear for surprise, for instance. Asians would ignore changes in the mouth that would cue them in.

I doubly found this fascinating because the princess in my current manuscript, a very observant person who’s learned how to survive in court by reading peoples’ intentions, distinctly notes that the hero, a westerner, poses a different set of challenges for her because the way he reacts and displays emotions is so different from what she’s accustomed to. Nice touch, eh? Well, I thought so. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I found several other articles on the same study with some additional insight. First, that this behavior seemed to be cultural rather than genetic as Asians raised in Western cultures didn’t show the same tendencies. Another thought was that this may be adaptive behavior due to the fact that Asian culture tends to look down upon showing negative emotion in public so Asians trained themselves to look carefully at the eyes because facial expressions were not so open.

Science Daily article – Caucasians and Asians Don’t Examine Faces in the Same Way

I’m interested to see what people think of this. Isn’t it a great way to describe cultural differences into a multicultural relationship? There are subtle, ingrained differences in addition to the larger obvious ones.

Are you searching for Asian adventure stories?

I was going to put “Asian fantasy” in the title, but then I had visions of people coming here searching for a XXX site—ugh.

4259596_blogI got a note from a reader who told me they’ve been searching for this sort of book forever and there’s not much out there. She had been going through search engines looking for Asian fantasy stories.ย  It’s not the first letter I’ve gotten like that either. Each one makes me hopeful. For an unpublished writer to start getting fan mail, and not from friends who love me, that must mean something right? ๐Ÿ™‚

It was a big boost when I found an agent who was excited to go to bat for me. We’re still on that search for theย  editor who believes that these stories will sell. Funny how much of an uphill battle it is to get into English language genre fiction when there’s a flood of movies, manga, anime and centuries of Asian language literature on the same themes.

Once in a while when I’m feeling blue and lonely, I do go googling for Asian fantasy fiction or wuxia. But that’s okay. I knew this was going to be hard when I started. I just have to keep improving the writing.

4245636_blogSo if you’re out there. If you’re searching too and you’ve found me. Say hello. *waves*

I truly believe there is a market and I love these stories. I’m very stubborn and somewhat patient and there’s enough stories in this genre to last another couple centuries.