Rejectomancer Resources: The Emotion Thesaurus
Posted on January 27, 2016
by Aeryn Rudel
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.
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.
I have this book. It’s a good one 🙂
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.
“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!
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.
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