Rejectomancer Resources: The Emotion Thesaurus

You’d think, being a human being, I would be passing familiar with human being body language. Yeah, not so much. When I’m writing and trying to convey emotion through character body language, I end up in this endless nod, head shake, smile, frown loop. Often times, I break this loop by flipping through the pages of one of my favorite reference books: The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression. 

Emotion Thesaurus (F)  Emotion Thesaurus (B)

Written by angels of literary mercy Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, the Emotion Thesaurus is described thusly:

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 writers to show, not tell emotion and is a creative brainstorming resource for any fiction project.

Of course, it’s generally best to go with your instincts when writing emotional responses for your characters, but a reference like the Emotional Thesaurus is handy when you get stuck. I tend to use it when I’m proofing a first draft, and I notice my characters’ responses are getting repetitive. I spend a lot of time in the anger, fear, and disgust chapters (which says a lot about the stories I write), but, trust me, the book is also useful for authors whose characters dwell in happier environments.

Anyway, highly recommended for the sometimes emotionally challenged author.

5 thoughts on “Rejectomancer Resources: The Emotion Thesaurus

  1. This might be good for me. I’ll put this on my birthday wishlist 👌

    I always find myself using “glancing over at him/her”. It’s a bad habit, and difficult to break. Maybe this can help me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Angels of Literary Mercy” Haha, you sweet talker you! Thanks so much for blogging about our book–so very glad you have found it to be a helpful resource!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, one of the actual authors. Now that’s pretty cool.

      Seriously, though, you and your co-author wrote one of the most useful writer’s reference books I’ve encountered, so I stand by my “angels of literary mercy” remark. 😉

      Thanks for checking out my humble little blog, by the way.


  3. Pingback: August: What Our Editors Are Reading – The Drowning Gull

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