- Crossing and uncrossing the arms or legs
- Drawing one’s mouth into a straight line and biting one’s lip
- Excessive swallowing
- Clearing the throat
- Pushing food around on a plate
- Trying to remain unnoticed (slumping in chair, edging toward an exit)
- Pretending to be unaware of shouting, an argument, or an uncomfortable event
- Turning slowly, unwillingly
- Stilted dialogue
- Choosing a safe spot to wait (back to the wall or corner)
- Consciously forcing one’s limbs to relax
- Nervous laughter
- Nervous habits (picking off nail polish, humming under the breath)
- Warm, sweaty hands…
Win your readers’ hearts by tailoring your character’s emotional responses so they’re compelling, credible, and realistic.
If you struggle with writing emotions like so many writers do, you’ll be happy to know that this sample has been expanded into book form. The full list of physical, internal, and mental cues for this and 74 other emotions can be found in The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. For more information on this bestselling book and where it can be found, please visit our bookstore.
And the news gets better: we’ve added 15 entries to this collection, including grief, lust, and self-loathing. To access these, simply visit our online library at One Stop For Writers. There, you’ll find all 90 entries from our popular Emotion Thesaurus, which have been updated and enhanced to provide even greater value. Users also enjoy the flexibility of cross-referenced material for easy searchability across all of our completed thesaurus collections. Interested in viewing a sample? Register for free at One Stop, and see what this innovative online library can do for your storytelling.