Write on, Wenesday: The Emotion Thesarus

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By Leslie Lindsay

Product Details (image retrieved from Amazon.com 9.5.12) 

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi (May 6, 2012)

When my writing buddy mentioned a writing reference book she was reading, I perked up.  We all need something to keep us plugging along, right?  THE EMOTION THESAURUS: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression is just what the doctor ordered.  You see, as a former psych R.N., I thought I had motivation, conflict, body language, physical responses, internal sensations, and what it may all escalate to down…alas, I do not. 

Written by two members of SCBWI (Society of Childrens’ Book Writer’s and Illustrators http://www.scbwi.org/), Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi and award-winning online resource, The Bookshelf Muse this book is second to real-life writing buddy.  Seriously, it’s great.  

All emotions–from adoraration to paranoia to weariness–you will find 75 of them listed in this easy-to-use book (164 pages, softcover).  Each emotion entry begins with the definition of the word, followed by “physical signals,” (in nurse-speak, “symptoms”), and then internal sensations (intrinsic, visceral senses), mental responses (that left-brain logic), then moves into acute (long-term) and suppressed feelings.  Now, how’s that for a lesson in mental health? 

I find that when I feel stuck on a particular writing quandry, I can flip open THE EMOTION THESARUS and almost immediately find a great way to get unstuck.  When even you–the writer–gets bored with your character’s upteenth shrug or deep breath, crack open this book and fall into a variety of possibily! 

Write on, Wednesday…

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