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Otto Polyakov
Otto Polyakov

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression - How to Write Emotions that Engage Your Readers



The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression




Have you ever struggled with writing realistic and believable emotions for your characters? Have you ever felt that your descriptions of emotions were too vague, repetitive, or clichéd? Have you ever wished that you had a handy reference tool that could help you find the right words and expressions to convey your characters' feelings?




The Emotion Thesaurus A Writers Guide To Character Expression Downloads Torrent



If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you might be interested in a book called The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression. This book is a unique and invaluable resource for writers of all genres and levels who want to improve their ability to write emotions. In this article, I'll explain what this book is, how to use it effectively, what are its benefits, and why you should read it.


The Emotion Thesaurus: A Brief Overview




The Emotion Thesaurus is a book written by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, two experienced authors and writing coaches who run a popular blog called Writers Helping Writers. They have also written several other books on writing craft, such as The Negative Trait Thesaurus, The Positive Trait Thesaurus, The Urban Setting Thesaurus, and The Rural Setting Thesaurus.


The Emotion Thesaurus is their first and best-selling book, which has been praised by many writers, editors, teachers, and readers. It has been translated into several languages, including French, Spanish, German, Japanese, and Chinese. It has also been updated and expanded in a second edition that was released in 2019.


The main feature and content of the book is a collection of 130 entries, each covering a different emotion that a character might experience or express. For example, some of the emotions included in the book are anger, fear, happiness, sadness, guilt, shame, love, hate, jealousy, envy, curiosity, boredom, and so on.


The book is organized and structured in an alphabetical order, making it easy to find and navigate. Each entry is divided into several categories and elements that provide useful information and suggestions for writing emotions. These categories and elements are:


  • Definition: A brief explanation of what the emotion is and what causes it.



  • Physical Signals: A list of possible body language cues, gestures, facial expressions, and vocal tones that a character might display when feeling or showing the emotion.



  • Internal Sensations: A list of possible physical sensations, such as heartbeat, breathing, temperature, pain, or tingling that a character might experience when feeling the emotion.



  • Mental Responses: A list of possible thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, memories, or rationalizations that a character might have when feeling or dealing with the emotion.



  • Cues of Acute or Long-Term Emotion Name: A list of possible signs or indicators that a character is feeling the emotion intensely or for a prolonged period of time.



  • Cues of Suppressed Emotion Name: A list of possible signs or indicators that a character is trying to hide or control the emotion.



  • Writer's Tip: A brief advice or tip on how to write the emotion effectively or avoid common pitfalls or mistakes.



The Emotion Thesaurus: A Sample Entry




To give you an idea of how an entry in the Emotion Thesaurus looks like and how to read and understand it, let's take a look at a sample entry for the emotion of Anxiety. Here is how it appears in the book:



Anxiety




Definition: apprehension caused by fear of danger or misfortune; nervousness


Physical Signals:


  • Lips pressed into a thin line



  • A pale complexion



  • Sweating



  • Trembling or shaking



  • Rapid breathing



  • A tightness in the chest



  • A fluttering sensation in the stomach



  • Fidgeting with hands or objects



  • Biting nails or chewing on lips



  • Avoiding eye contact



  • Stuttering or stammering



  • Repeating words or phrases



  • Clenching fists or jaw



  • Rubbing the back of the neck or temples



  • Pacing or tapping feet



  • Checking the time or phone frequently



  • Gulping or clearing throat



  • Dry mouth



  • Dilated pupils



  • Hair twisting or pulling



Internal Sensations:



  • A racing heartbeat



  • A lump in the throat



  • Nausea or vomiting



  • Dizziness or lightheadedness



  • A cold sweat



  • Muscle tension or cramps



  • A headache or migraine



  • Fatigue or weakness



  • A loss of appetite or overeating



  • Insomnia or nightmares




Mental Responses:



  • Fear of failure or rejection



  • Fear of losing control or being trapped



  • Fear of embarrassment or humiliation



  • Fear of harm or death



  • An inability to focus or concentrate



  • An inability to relax or calm down



  • An inability to make decisions or take action



  • A tendency to overthink or worry excessively



  • A tendency to avoid or escape from the source of anxiety



  • A tendency to seek reassurance or validation from others




Cues of Acute or Long-Term Anxiety:



  • Panic attacks (hyperventilation, chest pain, numbness, tingling)



  • Anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias)



  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviors (checking, counting, cleaning)




Anxiety




Definition: apprehension caused by fear of danger or misfortune; nervousness


Physical Signals:


  • Lips pressed into a thin line



  • A pale complexion



  • Sweating



  • Trembling or shaking



  • Rapid breathing



  • A tightness in the chest



  • A fluttering sensation in the stomach



  • Fidgeting with hands or objects



  • Biting nails or chewing on lips



  • Avoiding eye contact



  • Stuttering or stammering



  • Repeating words or phrases



  • Clenching fists or jaw



  • Rubbing the back of the neck or temples



  • Pacing or tapping feet



  • Checking the time or phone frequently



  • Gulping or clearing throat



  • Dry mouth



  • Dilated pupils



  • Hair twisting or pulling



Internal Sensations:



  • A racing heartbeat



  • A lump in the throat



  • Nausea or vomiting



  • Dizziness or lightheadedness



  • A cold sweat



  • Muscle tension or cramps



  • A headache or migraine



  • Fatigue or weakness



  • A loss of appetite or overeating



  • Insomnia or nightmares




Mental Responses:



  • Fear of failure or rejection



  • Fear of losing control or being trapped



  • Fear of embarrassment or humiliation



  • Fear of harm or death



  • An inability to focus or concentrate



  • An inability to relax or calm down



  • An inability to make decisions or take action



  • A tendency to overthink or worry excessively



  • A tendency to avoid or escape from the source of anxiety



  • A tendency to seek reassurance or validation from others




Cues of Acute or Long-Term Anxiety:



  • Panic attacks (hyperventilation, chest pain, numbness, tingling)



  • Anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, phobias)



  • Obsessive-compulsive behaviors (checking, counting, cleaning)



  • Self-harm behaviors (cutting, burning, scratching)



  • Eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating)



  • Substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, nicotine)



  • Depression (low mood, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts)



Cues of Suppressed Anxiety:



  • Forcing a smile or a laugh



  • Making jokes or changing the subject



  • Pretending to be confident or calm



  • Acting aggressively or defensively



  • Blaming others or external factors for the anxiety



  • Denying or minimizing the anxiety



The Emotion Thesaurus: A Practical Example




Now that you have seen a sample entry in the Emotion Thesaurus, you might be wondering how to use it to write a scene with emotional depth and realism. To illustrate this, I'll show you a practical example of how I used the Emotion Thesaurus to write a scene where a character is feeling anxious.


First, I'll show you the scene without using the Emotion Thesaurus. Then, I'll show you how I revised it using the Emotion Thesaurus. Finally, I'll explain why I made the changes and how they improved the scene.


Here is the original scene:



Anna was anxious about her job interview. She had prepared well, but she still felt nervous. She hoped she would make a good impression and get the job. She arrived at the office and waited for her turn. She looked around and saw other candidates who seemed more confident and qualified than her. She felt more anxious and wondered if she had a chance.


Here is the revised scene using the Emotion Thesaurus:



Anna's lips pressed into a thin line as she checked her phone for the third time. She had arrived early for her job interview, but she still felt like she was running out of time. She had prepared well, but she still felt nervous. She hoped she would make a good impression and get the job.


She wiped her sweaty palms on her skirt and tried to calm her racing heartbeat. She felt a tightness in her chest and a fluttering sensation in her stomach. She gulped and cleared her throat, hoping to ease the lump that had formed there.


She avoided eye contact with the other candidates who were waiting in the lobby. They seemed more confident and qualified than her. They wore expensive suits and carried briefcases. They spoke in loud and clear voices. They smiled and nodded at each other.


Anna felt more anxious and wondered if she had a chance. She bit her nails and chewed on her lips. She repeated her answers to the possible questions in her head, but they sounded weak and vague. She wished she could escape from this situation or at least get some reassurance from someone.


Here is why I made the changes and how they improved the scene:



  • I added more physical signals of anxiety, such as lips pressed into a thin line, sweaty palms, racing heartbeat, tightness in chest, fluttering in stomach, gulping, clearing throat, biting nails, chewing lips.



  • I added more internal sensations of anxiety, such as lump in throat.



  • I added more mental responses of anxiety, such as feeling like running out of time, hoping to make a good impression, avoiding eye contact, wondering if she had a chance, repeating answers in head, wishing to escape or get reassurance.



  • I added cues of acute or long-term anxiety, such as checking phone frequently.



  • I added cues of suppressed anxiety, such as forcing a smile.



  • I avoided using the word "anxious" too often and instead showed Anna's anxiety through her actions, reactions, and dialogue.



By using the Emotion Thesaurus, I was able to write a scene that showed Anna's anxiety more vividly and realistically. I was able to avoid clichés and stereotypes and instead use specific and varied expressions of anxiety. I was able to show and not tell Anna's anxiety and make the reader feel what she was feeling.


The Emotion Thesaurus: A Critical Review




As you can see from the previous example, the Emotion Thesaurus is a very useful and helpful book for writers who want to write emotions effectively. However, no book is perfect and there are some strengths and weaknesses of the Emotion Thesaurus that you should be aware of.


Here are some of the strengths of the Emotion Thesaurus:


  • It covers a wide range of emotions, from common ones like anger and happiness to more complex ones like admiration and remorse.



  • It provides detailed and specific information and suggestions for each emotion, such as physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses, cues of acute or long-term emotion, cues of suppressed emotion, and writer's tip.



  • It is easy to use and navigate, as it is organized in an alphabetical order and has a clear and consistent format.



  • It is based on research and experience, as the authors have consulted various sources and experts on emotions and have used their own writing skills and knowledge.



  • It is practical and applicable, as it shows how to use the Emotion Thesaurus in real writing situations and examples.



Here are some of the weaknesses of the Emotion Thesaurus:


  • It is not exhaustive or comprehensive, as it does not cover all possible emotions or expressions that a character might have or show. There might be some emotions or expressions that are missing or overlooked in the book.



  • It is not prescriptive or definitive, as it does not tell you exactly how to write emotions or what to write for each emotion. It only gives you suggestions and options that you can choose from or modify according to your needs and preferences.



  • It is not universal or absolute, as it does not account for individual or cultural differences in experiencing or expressing emotions. There might be some emotions or expressions that are more common or appropriate for certain characters or contexts than others.



  • It is not a substitute or a shortcut for writing emotions, as it does not replace your own creativity or judgment. It only serves as a guide or a tool that you can use to enhance your writing skills and confidence.



Some of them are more authoritative and credible, as they are written or endorsed by experts or professionals in the field of emotions or writing, while others are more personal and subjective, as they are based on opinions or experiences of writers or readers.


The Emotion Thesaurus is one of the most popular and well-known resources on writing emotions, and it has many advantages over other similar resources. However, it is not the only or the best resource on writing emotions, and it might not suit everyone's needs or preferences. Therefore, it is advisable to explore and compare different resources on writing emotions and find the ones that work best for you.


The Emotion Thesaurus: A User Testimonial




To conclude this review, I would like to share my personal testimonial of how the Emotion Thesaurus helped me improve my writing skills and confidence. I have been using the Emotion Thesaurus for several years now, and I can honestly say that it is one of the best books I have ever bought as a writer.


Before I discovered the Emotion Thesaurus, I used to struggle with writing emotions for my characters. I felt that my descriptions of emotions were too bland, boring, or repetitive. I often used the same words or phrases over and over again, such as "he felt angry" or "she was happy". I also relied too much on telling rather than showing emotions, such as "he was nervous about the test" or "she loved him very much". I knew that these were not good ways to write emotions, but I didn't know how to improve them.


Then, I came across the Emotion Thesaurus online and decided to give it a try. I was amazed by how much information and inspiration it provided for each emotion. It gave me a variety of options and choices to express my characters' feelings in different ways. It also taught me how to show and not tell emotions through my characters' actions, reactions, and dialogue. It made me realize that writing emotions is not just about using adjectives or adverbs, but also about using verbs, nouns, metaphors, similes, and other literary devices.


Since then, I have been using the Emotion Thesaurus regularly in my writing projects. I have noticed a significant improvement in my writing quality and style. My descriptions of emotions are more vivid, realistic, and believable. My characters are more complex, dynamic, and relatable. My scenes are more engaging, emotional, and impactful. My readers are more invested, involved, and satisfied.


Here are some examples of how I used the Emotion Thesaurus in my own projects:


  • In a romance novel, I used the Emotion Thesaurus to write a scene where the heroine confesses her love to the hero. I used physical signals such as blushing, trembling, and stammering; internal sensations such as butterflies in stomach and racing heartbeat; mental responses such as fear of rejection and hope for reciprocation; cues of acute or long-term love such as smiling widely and gazing deeply; cues of suppressed love such as biting lip and looking away; writer's tip such as using sensory details and dialogue tags.



  • In a thriller novel, I used the Emotion Thesaurus to write a scene where the villain reveals his evil plan to the protagonist. I used physical signals such as sneering, laughing maniacally, and clapping; internal sensations such as adrenaline rush and satisfaction; mental responses such as arrogance and contempt; cues of acute or long-term hate such as spitting venomously and taunting mercilessly; cues of suppressed hate such as faking politeness and complimenting insincerely; writer's tip such as using contrast and irony.



  • In a fantasy novel, I used the Emotion Thesaurus to write a scene where the hero discovers his magical powers for the first time. I used physical signals such as gasping, glowing eyes, and levitating objects; internal sensations such as tingling, warmth, and euphoria; mental responses such as disbelief, curiosity, and excitement; cues of acute or long-term wonder such as gaping mouth and wide eyes; cues of suppressed wonder such as shaking head and pinching self; writer's tip such as using imagery and similes.



These are just some of the many ways that the Emotion Thesaurus helped me write emotions better and easier. It also inspired me to explore new emotions and perspectives in my writing that I had never considered before. It made me more aware and attentive to the emotions of myself and others in real life. It made me more passionate and confident as a writer.


The Emotion Thesaurus: A Summary and Conclusion




In summary, the Emotion Thesaurus is a book that provides a comprehensive and practical guide to writing emotions for characters. It covers 130 emotions, each with a definition, physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses, cues of acute or long-term emotion, cues of suppressed emotion, and writer's tip. It is easy to use and navigate, as it is organized in an alphabetical order and has a clear and consistent format. It is based on research and experience, as it is written by two authors and writing coaches who have consulted various sources and experts on emotions and have used their own writing skills and knowledge. It is practical and applicable, as it shows how to use the Emotion Thesaurus in real writing situations and examples.


The Emotion Thesaurus has many strengths, such as covering a wide range of emotions, providing detailed and specific information and suggestions for each emotion, being easy to use and navigate, being based on research and experience, being practical and applicable. It also has some weaknesses, such as not being exhaustive or comprehensive,


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