The Emotion Thesaurus

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

By Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi

Do you ever have difficulty SHOWING how your characters feel? Do you tend to slide backwards into TELLING your readers what your characters are thinking? Among other things it makes for too much internal dialogue which slows your story’s pacing down, which turns readers off.     IMG_2061

Who doesn’t?

The Emotion Thesaurus is a useful and user-friendly tool to help you fix that. It was written and published by the owners of the Writers Helping Writers blog.

The Emotion Thesaurus helps writers SHOW 75 emotions through body language (physical signs), mental responses and internal sensations associated with each emotion. The Table of Contents lists the emotions in alphabetical order. Let your fingers walk right over to the correct page number and you’ll find the following info for each of those 75 emotions.

  • The definition of each emotion
  • The physical signals of each emotion
  • The internal sensations associated with each emotion
  • Mental responses associated with each emotion
  • Cues to acute experiences or long-term experiences with each emotion
  • What each emotion MAY ESCALATE TO
  • Cues to suppressing each emotion
  • A short writer’s tip related to each emotion

If you can use a dictionary you can use The Emotion Thesaurus to elevate your writing of prose and poetry. It can help us writers avoid telling instead of showing; using clichéd emotions; over dramatizing or melodramatizing; relying too heavily on dialogue or thoughts to express emotions; providing too much backstory to validate a character’s emotions or responses.

Ackerman and Puglisi hope that this book will provide a launchpad for writers; that The Emotion Thesaurus will help writers brainstorm their own ways of SHOWING instead of TELLING readers about their characters.

The price is reasonable and you can order direct from their Writers Helping Writers blog, or from other online book dealers.  My copy is parked adjacent to my Children’s Writer’s Word Book. Yep.

Now, take a deep breath. Minimize your manuscript into the tray, and click on the link above before you clench your jaw until your teeth crack, scream and pound on your desk, or sweat yourself out of your skin over making those characters believable!


One Comment on “The Emotion Thesaurus

  1. Jean, I am so glad you and the ET found one another. I hope to hear there are some amazing book adventures in your collective future! Happy writing! 🙂

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