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The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression [Paperback]

Angela Ackerman , Becca Puglisi
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
Price: 9.51 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 May 2012
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.

Frequently Bought Together

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression + The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Flaws + The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Attributes (Writers Helping Writers)
Price For All Three: 28.39

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (6 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475004958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475004953
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 17.8 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

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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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A useful tool for once. 21 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a pleasure to find sucn a useful and well produced book for once. A good thesaurus that not only provides a reference to a huge list of emotional descriptions, words and phrases, but also delivers some useful advice on using the thesaurus. One of the reviews here state that the book misses some common emotions like lust and shock. A review is only valid if it is accurate; shock is on page 148 and lust seems well covered in the huge desire section. Overall I would say this is very comprehensive and well produced.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously useful 27 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book tells me how a a character feels and acts under the influence of certain emotions, including body language and facial expression.

I've long wished for a book like this.

There have been books and classes before telling writers about character emotions, but those haven't been as helpful. Typically, those books and classes get it the wrong way round: they tell how to read body language (if a character's posture looks so-and-so, it means he's feeling such-and-such). As a writer, I found those useless. I know what my characters feel; I want to know how to convey this to my readers.

For years, I compiled my own list of emotion details for my own use. The material I've come up with has been helpful but limited. I'm glad someone has finally published a book with all the information, much more comprehensive than what I've come up with, and structured the way writers need it. The writer can look up the emotion, and see how it feels physically (useful when the character is the PoV) and how it looks to someone else (posture, facial expression, movement etc - useful when the PoV observes that character).

I recommend this book for professional level writers.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nor suitable for kindle 25 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I stupidly bought the Kindle editon of this. What was I thinking? It is - as it says on the tin - a thesaurus. That's not just a fancy title. It is a real thesaurus and, as such, you need to be able to use an index and flick back and forth between entries to get the best out of it - impossible to do on a kindle.

While the content seems to be good - and in all fairness is not the subject of this review - I will say again: DO NOT BUY THE KINDLE EDITION. This is not a book you want to read in linear fashion, page by page.

I have asked Amazon for my money back and I will order the paperback edition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! 29 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is amazing. A clear and concise breakdown of how we subconsciously react when we feel certain emotions. What do our hands do, body language and facial expressions, all of these and more are described in the book The layout is easy to follow and for the aspiring writer is an essential piece of equipment.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant little reference work. 22 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I promised my wonderful and long-suffering wife that I wouldn't buy any more book until I'd read everything on our shelves. Now, here I am buying a new thesaurus after reading only 31 of the original 188 titles awaiting my attention. Why? Well a friend (she's a friend, and she made me break a promise to my wife?) passed on a review of this book. I'm afraid I can't now find the link to that review, but thanks to whoever it was! It was the review that persuaded me to bend my knee and ask my lovely other half to bend the rules. Being the woman she is, she agreed, of course.
So, what's this reference work like?
Well, surprisingly, it's in the form of a thesaurus: novel, eh? There's a short introductory section that provides a brief overview of emotion and its place in writing. A short article on avoiding common problems in conveying nonverbal emotion follows. And a short explanatory piece then explains how best to use the thesaurus. After these pieces come the listings.
Now, I don't know about you, but perhaps because I'm a man and therefore emotionally challenged, I'd have found it difficult to come up with a list of more than ten emotions. So it was something of a surprise to discover 75, yes seventy five, listed here. For each of these, the authors have provided a definition of the emotion, a list of physical signals, the internal sensations experienced, the mental responses felt, cues of acute or long-term encounters with and cues of suppressed experience of the emotion. The final piece on each is a short writer's tip.
The book sets out to enable writers to convey emotion in the time-honoured fashion of `showing' rather than the easier and less satisfying `telling'.
Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Useful... BUT! 28 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very useful never let it be said otherwise BUT... it is far from perfect. A lot of perfectly normal emotions are missing. Shock, Lust, and quite a few more simply are not there. I find it very difficult to understand why these emotions are missing but hey ho... They are. It's good, but not THAT good!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Gem 7 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A gem of a book, great reference points, I love the idea of identifying the root emotion and using the thesaurus for a range of alternatives, layering emotions and words describing the logical explanation regarding where your characters' feelings are headed. Recommended
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant writing tool 9 Jan 2013
By CM
Format:Paperback
My husband bought me this book for Christmas - lots of brownie points for him this year!

This is a brilliant book! Useful for beginners and more experienced alike, it also serves as a great source of writing ideas and tips as well.

I find I keep looking up emotions 'just to see' :-)

I had the paperback copy and imagine that the kindle edition may be more difficult to use - you need to be able to browse the book as well as look up specifics.

Can't wait for more in the series to come out.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative
This is an invaluable guide for writers, especially beginners. It has every emotion imaginable, and some I didn't know!!
Published 10 days ago by Ruth Welsby
5.0 out of 5 stars The uuuultimate guide book for writing believable characters.
I love this book most of all out of the three Emotion Thesaurusseseses.
It lists a ream of emotions, the physical and outward symptoms of these emotions, what might have... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Miss Joanna R. Barker
4.0 out of 5 stars ... it hasn't covered every emotion it has been a useful guide. It has...
I have been using this resource in my writing and even if it hasn't covered every emotion it has been a useful guide. Read more
Published 13 days ago by Dr U.
5.0 out of 5 stars A really handy tool for authors. Lots of hard ...
A really handy tool for authors. Lots of hard work done for the benefit of us aspiring writers. A must by for authors...
Published 19 days ago by James Minter
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant book, arrived quickly and in great condition
Really helpful, brilliant book, arrived quickly and in great condition!
Published 1 month ago by nina noss
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference guide for writers... and animators
Not only a writer's guide - this book can also be very inspirational for animators/illustrators looking for ideas about how to pose characters and communicate a character's... Read more
Published 1 month ago by D. Chambers
5.0 out of 5 stars Character development tools
Brilliant, innovative, a real pleasure to use for inspiration. Along with it's companion books, a 'must have' for any writer.
Published 2 months ago by Kevin1659
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but could have been better.
The examples they provide are pretty good, but I found there wasn't enough. They should have had more examples. Some emotions just weren't included, and I found that disappointing.
Published 2 months ago by R S J Gregory, Author
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful, wish I'd found it sooner.
I'm generally the kind of person who only leaves a review for something if it's really good or really bad. Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. Hobbs
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC
What a useful book, gives plenty of tips and valuable information when writing, especially if you are in danger of repartition when writing a scene.
Published 2 months ago by Adele Sanctuary
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