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The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression Paperback – May 6 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; unknown edition (May 6 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475004958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475004953
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1 x 25.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,432 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi are the creators of the award winning online resource for writers, The Bookshelf Muse. Members of SCBWI, both authors write in the Middle Grade and Young Adult genres.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While realtors hail, “Location, location, location;” writers shout, “emotion, emotion, emotion.”

You can never get enough on the page. Good stories are filled with emotion. But writing it isn’t easy.

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression written and published by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi is an amazing resource for writers looking for the perfect word or phrase to capture a feeling.

Here’s what it’s done for me:

My before:

I relied on a small stable of words and expressions to convey emotion. I focused on the eyes a lot. With great frequency, they: grew larger, narrowed, hardened, threw daggers and …. You get the idea. Sometimes I’d move up to the eyebrows, which: knit, met in the middle and danced a jig, furrowed, rose, fell and wrinkled. Urggggggh. So bad.

My now:

I’m using a variety of descriptors to show emotion. Whenever I catch myself thinking about the character’s eyes, I look up the emotion I want to describe in my new thesaurus and come up with something fresh. I think I’ve died and gone to a writer’s heaven.

The Structure of the Book:

The writers list 75 emotions in their table of contents, alphabetically from “adoration” to “worry.” Two full pages are devoted to each emotion. They define it, give physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses, and discuss longer term effects. It’s simply brilliant, and for me indispensable.

Writer’s Tips

At the end of each emotion section they give a Writer’s Tip in a shaded box.

Here are my three favorites:

“When revising, look for instances where emotions are NAMED.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Emotion Thesaurus is a real treasure. While reading through the pages, I thought it was amazing. It wasn't until actually using it, that I saw its enormous value. I use it for screenwriting. Physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses -- and more, for almost every emotion you can think of. An excellent resource for writers who want to "show" emotion without using "on the nose" dialogue.
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This is an excellent source for writers. Easy to use and really delivers on the show don't tell technique. Includes great suggestions for overcoming common trouble spots such as cliches, over reliance on dialogue and backstory. Belongs on the shelf along with your
dictionary and thesaurus. Thanks authors for writing this. Makes editing a lot easier and fun.
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This is a handy reference tool for authors wanting to have their characters be more than "surprised", "anxious", or other boring emotional descriptions. It's great to have in the toolbox when you are tire of your character "widening their eyes" for the fiftieth time.

Highly recommended!
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I have quite a few resource books in my writing library but none is quite like tghis one. It will be a good book to use as a resource for when I'm feeling a bit stumped for how to describe an emotion in my writing. There are basic emotions that I would have added to this book, but there is space to add my own notes in the margins. A good keeper.
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Format: Paperback
As a writer of psychological fiction I found this collection of emotions accurate and fabulous for getting past the telling and into showing. For those in a Writer's Circle, this is a fantastic resource for writing exercises as well. In my writer's group, each member is given an emotion to write about without stating the emotion. This is such a poignant reference book that each of our members has purchased their own copy. I highly recommend The Negative Trait Thesaurus and The Positive Trait Thesaurus to go along with it.

From my background as a Therapist I can offer the following - the collection of emotions presented here is precise and accurate and can help all levels of writer's go beyond basic emotion descriptions, thoughts, actions etcetera and enter into the subtleties of emotions such as the degree. For example, writing about a character who is mildly angry compared to enraged compared to resentment....
An indispensible resource for any writer.
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I have used this book often in the short time I've owned it. It's great. I like the way it is set up with each emotion-word utilizing two pages facing each other. Very thorough! Using the following headlines: definition, physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses and cues they definitely cover all the angels.
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Tired of your characters feeling embarrassed and only mentioning heat in their cheeks, or their cheeks turned red... there are many other signs of embarrassment and SO MANY other emotions that your characters don't need to be repetitive. Highly recommend. This book won't sit on your shelf, it will sit within arms reach...
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