Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Brenda Margriet (@brendamargriet) reviews The Emotion Thesaurus by @AngelaAckerman

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression
By Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisis

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.

Written in an 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 authors to show, not tell emotion and is a creative brainstorming resource for any fiction project.
(Goodreads description)


This is an amazingly helpful, well thought out book that every writer should have handy.

We all know we're supposed to show, not tell. Don't tell "Joe is sad." Show "Joe's shoulders slumped and his eyes brightened with unshed tears." And that's a prime example of how writer's can easily fall into the cliche trap when showing.

THE EMOTIONAL THESAURUS lists emotions, and then gives all the physical signals, mental responses and internal sensations associated with that emotion. It includes cues for if the emotion is acute or has been felt over the long-term, and suggests other connected emotions. It even gives tips on what a person might look like if they are suppressing that emotion.

What this does is lift you out of the usual descriptions, and helps you brainstorm new ways of portraying that feeling.

It is truly one of the most helpful writing books I've ever come across.

About the Reviewer

Brenda Margriet's first novel, Mountain Fire is currently available on Kindle.  It will be released January 9, 2013 by The Wild Rose Press for other e-formats.  She lives in Northern British Columbia with her husband, three children (all of whom are taller than her) and various finny and furry pets. By day she is Creative Director at the local television station, and by night she pecks away at her works in progress.  Find out more at www.brendamargriet.com.


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