Emotion Thesaurus Entry: Uncertainty

·A delayed response
·A head tilt and pause
·A noncommittal answer: Maybe, or We’ll see
·Dragging footsteps
·Flapping your hand at someone, dismissing them or their idea
·A quick widening of the eyes, either at the person proposing the idea or to another person involved
·Rubbing the back of the neck without making eye contact
·Biting or chewing on the lip
·Hmming and Hawing
·A purposeful shiver or shudder
·A heavy sigh
·Walking away
·A jutting chin
·A dark, silent look…

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.


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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8 Responses to Emotion Thesaurus Entry: Uncertainty

  1. We’re so glad you’re finding something useful here, Gigi. Thanks for following!

  2. gigi says:

    This site has just saved my life! Emotions can be so hard to put into words sometimes. Thank you so much for the wonderful work you both do. I am, i believe, your newest faithful follower <3. Now, for sure, it will be a lot easier to keep developing my book 🙂

  3. Becky says:

    I love your sight. When I’m stuck creatively, it gives me a boost, and not always how I might expect.

  4. Angela says:

    Bish– I keep zombies in the basement, and force them to come up with actions each week. Upon complying, I throw them a person who has sent Becca or I a rejection letter as a reward.

    Fairchild–thanks for popping in to say hi! We’re glad the thesaurus is doing it’s job!

  5. fairchild says:

    I just want to say thank you so much for this wonderful thesaurus!! It is truly invaluable, and you gals are amazing.

  6. Bish Denham says:

    How do you do it? Does it keep you awake nights thinking of all these things? So good!

  7. Angela says:

    Thanks PJ–you too!

  8. PJ Hoover says:

    Really, another great entry! Hope you gals have a great weekend!

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