Author Resource: The Emotion Thesaurus

This is the first of a new blog post series called Author Resource. With so much information available via digital and print, it’s often difficult to weed through it all and find the gems. And I have a wonderful “gem” for you today . . . read on!

EmotionEvery author knows the term “show, don’t tell”. It’s perhaps the first rule many of us learned as budding writers – but at times, it doesn’t matter how much you utilize a thesaurus . . . the right words to “show” how our character feels escapes us.  Such a stumbling block can mean the difference between a best seller and a dud because emotion is key to any successful novel.

Well, now there’s help.

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have written an outstanding guideline entitled The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. This is not a new release. It was published in May, 2012 but many of you may not be aware of its existence, hence my tip for today.

After a brief explanation about how to use the thesaurus and a few pages on techniques for writing non-verbal emotion, the book flows right into a smartly formatted reference guide. You simply search for a word and find the phrase or term you think best fits your character’s emotional state. For example, “amusement”: under the heading, the word is defined. Following are physical signals such as “smirking or offering a bemused smile”. Next are internal signals, mental responses, cues for long term or suppressed amusement and finally, writer’s tips.

I love The Emotion Thesaurus. On days when I’m tired and my brain is overworked, it’s a lifesaver, allowing me to plow through pages I would previously have walked away from, claiming writer’s block.

But the authors don’t stop there. This talented duo also published companion books, The Positive Trait Thesaurus and The Negative Trait Thesaurus. If you own one of the many character archetype books and think you don’t need anything else, think again. These guides serve as a quick reference without pouring through paragraphs of psychological explanation.

For more information and a plethora of other useful tidbits, check out their website WritersHelpingWriters.net. Angela and Becca make a formidable team, offering tips on every writing scenario you can imagine. 

AMAZON   Other buy links available from Writers Helping Writers website.

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About Debra S. Sanders

Debra is an RV nomad, traveling full time with her husband, dog and cat. She writes, hikes, star gazes and explores myth, lore and curiosities from America's back roads. She also indulges in colorful sunsets and good wine.

3 Responses

  1. angelaackerman1

    Deb, what a wonderful shout out! I am so glad you’re getting good value from our books and site. We love helping writers and really do believe writing can and should be a touch easier. 🙂 HUGS!

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