Friday, May 18, 2012

Emotion Thesaurus, A Writer's Guide to Character Expression

Recently I received the PDF copy of the Emotion Thesaurus, A Writers Guide to Character Expression.

It is written by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.

They blog over at the Bookshelf Muse. I am a follower of their site and if you aren't already, I recommend you consider becoming a follower. Their site is a great benefit to writers.

There are 75 emotion entries in the book, starting with the first entry of Adoration.
With each entry, they tell the physical signals, internal sensations, mental responses, cues of acute or long term adoration and cues of suppressed adoration.
The last entry is Worry.

But this book is much, much more than just a thesaurus!

They talk about the power of emotion in our writing. They tell how dialogue is a proven vehicle for expressing a character’s thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. But to convey feelings well, a writer must also utilize nonverbal communication such as body language, internal sensations and thoughts.

The Emotion Thesaurus will help writers brainstorm new ideas for expressing a character’s emotional state. And, it will help you avoid common  pitfalls such as telling, using cliched emotions and melodrama.

The book is also filled with writing tips throughout, such as:

WRITER’S TIP: Don’t get caught up on the eyes to convey emotion. While eyes are often the first thing we notice in real life, they provide very limited options for description possibilities as writers. Instead dig deeper, showing the how the character behaves through their body movement, actions and dialogue.


WRITER’S TIP: Smell triggers memory. Take advantage of this sense and build olfactory description into the scene. This will draw readers in and make them feel part of the action.

I have went through my PDF copy and copied and pasted all the writers tips and ran them off on my printer to have as easy reference. As a writer, I feel we can never have enough tips!

Here is a quote from me . . . 
Some people say anyone can write, but writing a good story is what we strive for. Can everyone write a good story?

With the help of this book, we can all become better writers.
I highly recommend it.

You can order the book here or go over to their site and order the PDF, which is what I have. 

Posted by Janet F. Smart on Creative Writing in the Blackberry Patch.
©Janet F. Smart


  1. Great recommendation! I have often used the sample Emotion Thesaurus on their website and I'm glad to be able to buy the book!

  2. Janet, thank you so much for this awesome review. I'm glad you're finding The Emotion Thesaurus so helpful in your day-to-day writing!

  3. Wonderful ideas, Janet. I'm guilty of the "eye" thing. Will work on other ways. Thanks. The book sounds like a good one.

  4. I know! It's awesome. Everything writers need right at our fingertips. Yippee!!!!!!!!! Great review, Janet. My book editing is coming along. Another yippee for that too. *waves*

  5. The eye thing is an easy habit to acquire - I still have to watch for it. I'm going over to their site now. Thanks.

  6. Janet -- Thanks for the recommendation of "The Bookshelf Muse." I am attempting to take myself more seriously as a writer and need all the clues to making that happen even though I had a book published long ago which is now used as a textbook at Oregon State University. But life happens and I have fallen away from serious writing and need to get back. I enjoy blogs like yours that are encouragements to either beginning anew or just plain beginning. thanks -- barbara

    1. hi Barbara. Thanks for your comment. I have a lot to learn myself, but I try to offer help and suggestions to others whenever I can.

  7. Janet, thank you so much for this awesome review, i have been trying to buy this book but i cant because Amazon doesnt ship to Vietnam. can u please send me a pdf of its copy? if you can please send me via my email . God bless you and your family :)


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