172 pages, Paperback
Genre: Writing Book
Published on May 6, 2012 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying a character’s emotions to the reader in a unique, compelling way. This book comes to the rescue by highlighting 75 emotions and listing the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each.
Using its easy-to-navigate list format, readers can draw inspiration from character cues that range in intensity to match any emotional moment. The Emotion Thesaurus also tackles common emotion-related writing problems and provides methods to overcome them.
This writing tool encourages authors to show, not tell emotion and is a creative brainstorming resource for any fiction project.
This book is a lifesaver, and one writing book which I can’t live without.
I’m a big fan of the “show, don’t tell” tenet of writing. So in my own manuscripts, I try to make sure that in every scene I leave it up to the reader to understand the emotions the character is feeling. I don’t tell them what the character is feeling directly, instead, I try to show the emotions of the character through her actions, thoughts and sometimes through her dialogue.
Throughout the story, my characters will go through a range of emotions, and often will experience one emotion several times. I seriously wanted to shred my first draft after reading the phrase “her eyes widened” or “he swallowed hard” or “her hands shook” over and over again. I realized that I needed fresh, new ways of showing my characters’ emotions to replace the tired, old clichés I had used.
I squealed with delight (and relief) when I discovered this book online. The book begins with a short overview of emotion and its place in writing. The authors also introduce various techniques for writing nonverbal emotion, and explain how writers can use the Emotion Thesaurus.
The Emotion Thesaurus lists 75 different emotions. The authors define the emotion and list physical signals, internal sensations and mental responses a person might have to the emotion. They also list cues of acute or long-term encounters with the emotion and cues of suppressed experience of the emotion. To top it all off, they give a writer’s tip for using that particular emotion in your work.
Authors Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have saved every fiction writer years of work and research by writing this book. They have saved us the trouble of having to figure out what body language, thoughts, and visceral responses our characters might have when experiencing a particular emotion.
I always keep this book handy whenever I’m deep in revisions. The Emotion Thesaurus helps me create three-dimensional, relatable characters by helping me deepen the way they express their emotions in scenes. By doing so, I also lift my prose up to a higher level.
With the Emotion Thesaurus’s help, I can replace boring lines like “she was so depressed she could barely stand and answer the phone” with stronger lines like “The circles under her eyes had grown darker. She stared out the window, ignoring the phone that had been ringing for the past half hour.”
I give this book 10 stars out of 5, and recommend all writers—new and seasoned alike–to pick up a copy. It’s sure to change the way you perceive emotions, and the elevate the way you write.
8,562 total views, 1 views today