Today, I wanted to make a video about one of my favorite tools, The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi. If you haven’t checked this book out, I would definitely recommend it. It’s incredibly useful!
Transcript from video:
Hey everyone. It’s author, Sara Crawford, and I am coming at you today with a video about one of my favorite writing craft books, The Emotion Thesaurus.
This is more of a tool than a writing craft book, but they do have a really helpful introduction at the beginning. No matter what genre you’re writing, I think the reason a lot of readers pick up a book is because they want to have an emotional experience. I think this is definitely more the case with genres like romance but even with fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, all of that, people want to have an emotional experience.
It’s much more powerful to make them feel the emotions the characters are feeling than to just tell them and say “oh, she was feeling sad” or “she was feeling angry.” Instead, you want to evoke the emotions by communicating — What are they doing with their hands? How is their posture? What kind of facial expressions are they making? What internal things are going on? Is their heart beating really fast? Are they jumping up and down? Are they shaking. Whatever it is. I mean, it doesn’t always have to be so dramatic and extreme. Sometimes emotions can be really subtle.
With this book, they go through every emotion you can think of. There are some obvious ones like anger, but then there are also more subtle ones like peacefulness or skepticism, things you wouldn’t necessarily think about. And then it goes through and tells you the physical signals of that emotion, the internal sensations that you might feel, mental reactions you might have, cues of acute or long-term whatever the emotion is, and then cues of suppressing the emotion. This gives you a lot to work with as a writer. This is definitely a tool that I use a lot. A lot of times when I’m writing something in a first draft, I’ll even be like “use The Emotion Thesaurus and find some more stuff to say here.” Because my first draft is really just very quick. I want to get it out. And then when I go back and revise is kind of when I finesse things a little bit more.
The writers of this book, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi (I hope I said that right), they have a bunch of other thesauruses like a thesaurus of urban locations, a thesaurus of character traits, just different things. And then they have a website — I can’t remember the name of it right now but I will link to it down below because it’s super helpful. And it has a bunch of tools for writers to use so definitely check that out. (This is their website – https://onestopforwriters.com/)
Check this book out. It’s really helpful. Do you guys have any helpful tips for writing about emotions? I would definitely love to hear from you. So let me know down below. Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you’d like to see more videos about writing, books, or music. Thanks so much for watching. I will see you in the next video.