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Saturday, April 5, 2014

E - Emotional Writing

April A-Z Challenge (Letter E)

E - Emotional Writing

A few days ago I posted about how I love to listen to certain types of music because it invokes feelings in me that helps me to write certain scenes in my writing. But sometimes even I am limited to express the feelings and emotions I was my characters to feel.

I want him to be angry, but how do I express that with more than piercing glares and sharp replies?
I want her to be determined, how do I show this without just resorting to a set jaw and a fire in her eyes?
Joy shows in smiles, giggles, bright eyes and happy glow in the face. Sorrow shows through tears, trembling lips, and a lack of desire to talk.

But how do I show devastation while letting you see that the emotion is more than sorrow? How do I make a reader feel the elation of a character, not just joy? And how do I make my character's retaliation seem legitimate and reasonable?

Well, I have a friend (3 friends actually) but one specifically I want to discuss.

These are the books my husband bought me for my birthday! Yes, one of the best gifts ever!

But my focus today is the emotion Thesaurus (Although there is a good chance one of my other posts will discuss the other two books in the future)

The Emotion Thesaurus raised my writing to a new level! Seriously! Instead of writing that someone feels Envy, I can explain that he/she is glowering at people, and feels his/her heartbeat quicken, as he/she forces a smile. I can show a reader as my character's gaze drifts to the symbol of envy, while wiping sweaty hands against jeans and thinking unkind thoughts about the person who possesses the object (or person) my character wants.

Now that was just a small example. Each emotional topic in the book has: a definition of the emotion, a list of physical signals, a list of internal sensations, a list of mental responses, cues of acute or long-term envy, list of more intense emotions this feeling may escalate to, and cues of suppressed feelings for that emotion (plus they add great writer's tops at the bottom of each section).

This book is amazing! It has helped me realize there is more than smiles and clenched jaws, fire or ice in the eyes, and snippy remarks! Love it! Seriously Love it!

So now as I listen to the music that inspires me to write certain scenes and I have a better idea of how to invoke feelings in my readers and my characters have more emotions. Am I perfect at writing emotionally? Not anywhere near it - but lots lots closer

So watch out writing world - I'm about to let loose my emotional writing!


  1. Hmm.... I don't usually go to writing help books- but these sound really interesting! I may have to check them out. Thanks for the recommendation!

    1. Thanks Steph! I don't have a lot of reference books, but these ones I have found amazingly useful! Good Luck I hope you enjoy them


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