The Emotion Thesaurus

By Angela Ackerman, Becca Puglisi,

Book cover of The Emotion Thesaurus

Book description

The bestselling Emotion Thesaurus, often hailed as “the gold standard for writers” and credited with transforming how writers craft emotion, has now been expanded to include 55 new entries! 

One of the biggest struggles for writers is how to convey emotion to readers in a unique and compelling way. When…

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Why read it?

5 authors picked The Emotion Thesaurus as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I stumbled upon this one in a library. Yes, they still have things called Libraries. And this book is a little ripper if you are writing fiction. 

If you have ever attempted to write a novel, you would have no doubt found yourself saying things like his heart was racing; he held his breath, a shiver ran up his spine, blah, blah, blah. It’s not until you go back through your manuscript that you realize how many times you have used the same descriptions. Over and over and over again. 

This little gem of a book is jam-packed with alternatives.…

Romance is all about feelings. The highs. The lows. The dejection and the joys. But you need to “show” and not “tell” how your characters are feeling.

To do that, you use gestures, dialogue, facial expressions, internal sensations, and thoughts. The Emotion Thesaurus provides all that and more. There are more than 130 entries to help writers show emotion. This is a fantastic book for all novel genres. If I could only keep one reference book (other than mine), this would be it!

When I write, I use many different tools. For example, every author needs a good dictionary, a thesaurus, and the Chicago Manual of Style. I consult places like the APA Diagnostic and Statistical Manual to get personality traits right and take notes when watching movies to see how actors portray emotions. When I saw this title, I knew I had to have it. Like any thesaurus, it cross-references different emotions, but it does much more. It gives body language, intonation, and thoughts that accompany an emotion. It makes suggestions for dialogue and visceral responses. It provides multiple ways for…

From Max's list on writing fiction.

One concept many new writers struggle to master is that of “show, don’t tell.” Most of us have a good idea of how we can show joy or anger, but what about anxiety, eagerness, defeat, or relief? The Emotion Thesaurus contains one hundred thirty emotions. Each listing includes physical signs, internal sensations, mental responses, acute or long-term responses, and more. Whether the emotion is being experienced by the POV character or being observed by the POV character, the variety in each listing makes it possible to show the reader what the character is feeling without naming the emotion. The Emotion…

From Lynn's list on writing for new fiction writers.

All writers can be tempted to use tired cliches, but this best-seller helps your characters express themselves in a whole new way. Organized by emotion, the authors list many different examples of how a character can express their feelings with body language or internal sensations. Cross-referenced for extended research, this book is an absolute must-have for any aspiring author.

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