T is for The Emotion Thesaurus


‘The Emotion Thesaurus’

There are few writing books that are as helpful as the Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. It’s not full of advice about grammar or structure, it doesn’t preach about passive voice and it won’t help you complete your first draft. But it will help you polish your draft until it shines.

The Emotion Thesaurus deals in the art of showing over telling. Telling is necessary sometimes, but when it comes to the emotions of characters, showing someone trembling, going pale, their skin clammy, is much more effective than saying ‘so-and-so was scared.’

This is where the Thesaurus comes in – it’s full of physical and mental responses to emotions. It links emotions together – experience something a lot over an extended period of time, and it might develop into something else. Frustratingly, I don’t have it to hand right now (having a new study built, which means current study is full of more furniture than there is space for, and I don’t know which box behind which large, heavy article of furniture has the book in…) so I can’t give specific examples, but take my word for it – it’s a fantastic resource for when you’re tired of trying to think of other ways of expressing happiness, desire, fear or hatred.




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