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

109 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (6 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1475004958
  • ISBN-13: 978-1475004953
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,035 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.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Hassell on 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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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Fantasy & Horror Fiction Lover on 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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Miss J. M. Garner on 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Jason R. Smith on 12 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"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."

It lives up to the bracketed part at least. As other reviews have said, this is what it says: a thesaurus. Not an interesting one, or one that I found to be particularly helpful. The suggestions aren't unique or compelling, most are standard and common sense, and I saw nothing that was visceral. I was hoping for more practical examples, teaching by demonstration, rather than just pages with plain, rather repetitive lists, of what a person might do when experiencing a given emotion.

If you're really, really, struggling to show your character's emotions rather than telling them then this might be of use. But most of the information on these pages has no particular depth to it, and as such they are things you can readily guess at or invent yourselves. I would not recommend it, and I'm only giving it two stars because I think I've come into it with the wrong expectations.

The dozens of five star reviews leave me close to dumbfounded.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Aken on 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'.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Randal on 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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