Tools for Writers: The Emotion Thesaurus
THE EMOTION THESAURUS: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, is one of the best writing tools I’ve discovered. Angela and Becca run the fab website, Writers Helping Writers.
Are you sometimes challenged with showing versus telling? This book is for you.
Do you find yourself using the same body language over and over again when you’re trying to convey a particular emotion? This book is for you.
Do you just get tired of using your brain sometimes and need an assist? (I know I do.) This book is for you. I keep my copy readily at hand, and honestly I use it as much if not more than my regular thesaurus.
With THE EMOTION THESAURUS, you can tackle a moment of surprise or shock in your character’s life and, instead of “his face had a look of surprise,” you can show it through physical signals, internal sensations or mental responses — all categories under each emotion in THE EMOTION THESAURUS. It helps me stretch my writing and make it more powerful. This book is the cat’s pajamas.
The authors have recently expanded their thesauri repertoire with two new offerings:
I’ve had a chance to work with both books and they are excellent. While I may not use them as often as THE EMOTION THESAURUS, they do provide great insight into helping build characters to love, characters to hate, or characters you love and hate. And the Character Attribute Target Tool in the POSITIVE book – simple and powerful.
There are a lot of great tools for writers (hello, Scrivener…). What are some of your favorites?