Emotion Thesaurus Addendum: Exhaustion

  • Drifting focus
  • Shuffling steps that scuff the floor
  • Fumbling, clumsiness
  • Bowed shoulders
  • Squeezing the eyes shut, then opening them wide in an effort to stay awake
  • Rolling the neck from side to side to loosen kinks
  • The gaze turning repeatedly to a bed or sofa
  • Stretching, shaking one’s limbs
  • Numbness
  • Silence
  • Rereading the same page
  • Turning up a radio or TV for noise
  • Listening but not hearing
  • Haggard appearance (smeared make-up, matted hair, unshaven cheeks)…

Turn up the heat on your protagonist by adding conditions that will alter his mood and make him more emotionally reactive.

Like making things tough on your characters? Then you’ll be happy to know that this collection of entries has been expanded into a $1 ebooklet called Emotion Amplifiers. This companion to The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression is a body language tool for describing your character’s pain, stress, illness, hunger, dehydration, attraction, and other conditions that amplify an emotional reaction. Please visit our bookstore to find out where you can download your copy.

To make life even easier for writers, all of the entries from Emotion Amplifiers—including a few new additions—have been integrated into our online library, One Stop For WritersThis enhanced collection will help add tension and conflict to your scenes and is cross-referenced for easy searchabilityTo view these entries along with our other description thesauri, head on over and register for free at One Stop.


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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4 Responses to Emotion Thesaurus Addendum: Exhaustion

  1. Donna says:

    Hey, my skin’s greasy even when I’m not tired!

  2. JaxPop says:

    Hey Angela – Very Timely – Had to stay awake for 44 straight hours – into Christmas Eve – 30some odd hours a few days before that, as part of my drive from Chicago to Pennsylvania (to visit the kids)after working all day & then Pa to Florida (after visitin’ me mum) to get home mid-day Christmas Eve (after 11 killer weeks in Chicago). I’m still beat. My mother chided me yesterday with the “You’re not getting any younger” line. That made me feel just great. Hope you had a terrific Christmas.

  3. Mary Witzl says:

    Ooh, exhaustion: I’ve been up far too long tonight and I’m already there. For once I could almost add to your thesaurus!

  4. Angela says:

    On account of Christmas, I’m putting this entry out a day early. Happy Holidays!!

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