Suggestion Box

writershelpingwriters_logo_6x6inch_final_optHave an idea for a new Thesaurus Collection you’d like to see? Pining for a special Tool or Resource? Have an entry for an existing thesaurus that is on your Wish List?

Or maybe you’d just like to leave us a comment about how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you!


157 Responses to Suggestion Box

  1. Gregory Smith says:

    The website and it’s resources here are incredible! I’m loving the emotional wound thesauras and how delicately it has been put together.
    I’ve wanted to be a writer for years and only recently took it seriously. Writing character’s backstories has unexpectedly led me to look deeper at emotional wounds. Writing character’s overcoming theirs has been surprisingly cathartic and personally rewarding!

  2. Amina says:

    Can you make a romance plot thesaurus?

    • Hi, Amina. Our thesauruses tend to cross over all genres; this way, they’re applicable to people writing all different kinds of books. So we probably won’t be writing a thesaurus that caters to only one group of writers. However, if you’re looking for great romance resources, Jami Gold’s blog has a ton of them.

  3. Becky says:

    Would you two ever consider writing a book on physical characteristics such as facial features, body types, eyes, etc

    • Hi, Becky. As of right now, we don’t plan on turning that thesaurus into a physical book. As you can guess, it takes quite a bit of time and effort to do that, so we have to gauge whether or not there’s a large enough demand for it to be worth our while. In the case of the Physical Features Thesaurus, we’re not seeing enough demand to justify that. Things could always change down the road, but for now, it will have to live here at our blog and at One Stop For Writers. 🙂

      • Becky says:

        OH okay.

        Oh I had another thought. What about one on occupations and businesses? There are so many jobs out there but it can be difficult at times to describe them. At times it feels as if I’m Kelso from that 70’s show trying to figure out what his father does.

        • This is an idea that Angela and I are currently batting around. It’s possible that you could see this one in the future. Stay tuned!

          • Becky says:

            Oh I will keep my eye out! So far I’ve found all the books extremely helpful. I really hope you two decide to write it!

            And boy does this box get small.

  4. Howard says:

    In The Emotion Thesaurus, I would like to recommend the addition of this emotion: Helplessness.

    It is a very common emotion today.

  5. Amy Hunter says:

    Do you have a recommended outline template? Not all writers plot. Not everyone’s story would fit the same template, I know. BUT… if you had a universal template to use for novels or short stories, what would it look like? I’m not talking about a diagram. I simply mean something like, for example:

    Inciting Incident:
    What happens to the protagonist to put her unavoidably in the path of the antagonist?

    Internal Initial Conflict (call to action):
    What does your protagonist most want? Why can’t she have it? How will she try to get it?

    External Initial Conflict (call to action):
    What does your protagonist want to accomplish or obtain (physically)? How will she go about it?

    Thank you.
    Amy Hunter

    • Hi, Amy. We do have some scene and sorry mapping tools at One Stop For Writers. Here’s some info on each: is a tool that allows you to map out a story according to Michael Hauge’s Six Stage Plot Structure. Because the concept of story structure can be overwhelming, we’ve provided lots of information to help you understand the way successful stories are structured and guide you in applying the process to your own project. On the story map page, you’ll see a diagram containing each of the story points. Just hover over a point to see an explanation of what it is and what it should accomplish. When you’re ready to make your own story map, click the New link and fill in the fields. If at any point you need guidance on a particular point, clicking the icon will explain everything in detail.

      Scene Maps give you the chance to plan out individual scenes in a story or even a series. Because writers have varying comfort levels when it comes to planning, we have two scene maps to choose from. allows you to plan your scene according to your hero’s character arc; by figuring out his inner and outer motivation, what’s at stake, and the inner and outer conflict that will plague him, you’ll have a clearer idea of what should happen in your scene. If that’s too structured for your tastes, there’s also; this one is a little more relaxed, giving you prompts to help you figure out what should happen in your scene without going into great detail.

      A subscription is necessary to test these tools out, but with a free registration, you can at least see the information on each tool and a sample of each. That should give you a better idea of whether or not you’d like to subscribe. I hope this helps!

  6. Olive Sharkey says:

    Hi, I use your emotion thesaurus and find it invaluable. If you are ever doing a reprint, it would be good if you included shyness. I couldn’t really equate it to any of the many emotions covered, and although shyness is not as common as it used to be, it’s still common enough and manifests itself in many different ways. Perhaps you don’t consider it an emotion as such, but the emotion thesaurus is the obvious place to look for it. I hope you agree.

    • Hi, Olive. Thanks so much for offering your suggestion. One of the most difficult things about writing this thesaurus was determining which possibilities were true emotions and which weren’t. At first blush, I don’t believe shyness fits the bill, since this is more a character trait than an emotion. People can “feel” a lot of things that aren’t true emotions, such as shyness, boldness, confidence, hunger, sickness, etc. Because we wanted the focus to be true emotions, we had to get really fine-tuned in narrowing down the TOC for this thesaurus. And of course, that means making choices that aren’t cut and dry and not everyone would agree on.

      For tips on shyness and how it can manifest, you might check out Timid in the Negative Trait Thesaurus or Introverted in the Positive Trait Thesaurus (if you have access to those books or the thesauruses at One Stop For Writers).

  7. Claire says:

    Could you do a thesaurus on common psychiatric disorders? It’s not unusual for people to write about them, and some depictions are notorious for being a tad inaccurate.

  8. Rob Costello says:

    I have a suggestion for another thesaurus. Please consider making a thesaurus for values. Some people place a high value on family, others on honesty, others on money, etc. I know these tie in with traits, but this gives a writer yet another window into their characters.

    Thanks in advance for the consideration.

  9. Allison Branscombe says:

    I am writing a book about a dog’s experiences in traveling. I would love to see a specialized thesaurus on animal traits and behaviors, at least for dogs. I realize there would be huge differences for other animals commonly found in books, such as horses and cats, plus large wildlife such as bears, lions and elephants. I have your emotions thesaurus, and it is somewhat helpful, but the physical manifestations of emotions will vary greatly for animals. Your comments and suggestions are welcomed! Thank you!

    (I think I am already subscribed to your newsletter, but I checked it anyway.)

  10. I am writing my first novel and I love your thesauruses, I have all of them so far and eagerly await the Emotional Wound Thesaurus. Since I am writing a historical mystery, I was wondering if you have given any thought to having a historical based thesaurus. This would be wonderful. Do you know of any specific resources to check for historical idioms or usages from different time periods? Thanks so much for your help. 🙂

    • We were going to create a third setting thesaurus volume for Speculative settings, which would include historical. But the project got so big we decided to just go with the two books, and then add new speculative entries to One Stop For Writers as we write them. I think down the road if we did historical ones they would likely appear only there as we have so many other topics to tackle as well. 😉 Thanks for writing in!

  11. Michael Wharton says:


    You may be interested in my new site audiohoop, which is a resource for writers. We support independent writers to translate their written work into high quality audio content for free. Writers can read their own work or can use the audiohoop community to find and engage actors, directors, technicians and producers to interpret work; as well as marketing experts to help promote works produced. We also provide a free audiobook hosting services, with review and feedback facilities – although if writers prefer to market the audiobooks produced through other channels, they are free to do so.

    Please come and look around the site and if you want to bring your written work to life, why not consider giving us a try? And please share our link with writers you have in your contacts.

    PS. If you have any questions, please just ask.

    Best wishes


  12. Dear Angela Ackerman,

    I have a resource request that is perhaps and unusual one for you, but it is a resource that would be valuable to so many people, including myself.

    I am a writer, but I use your emotions thesaurus for a bit of a different application. I have a neurological condition called alexithymia and your emotions thesaurus has been so useful for me in helping me to identify my own emotions.

    I would love to have a set of cards I could carry in my pocket that have the physical markers of the emotions on them, to help me figure out how I’m feeling when I don’t have your book handy. I explain in more detail in this recent blog post I wrote.

    I believe other people would also buy a set of cards from you, based on the responses I’ve gotten from readers on my blog, on my Facebook page, Twitter, etc. would also buy a set of cards from you, based on the responses I’ve gotten from the readers on my blog, on my Facebook page, my Twitter, etc. A friend who is also writer suggested that you might be amenable to developing a set of cards like that. She said that she met you at a conference and you were very friendly and approachable, so I thought I would write to you with the suggestion.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this. And thank you for your excellent writers resources. Here is the blog entry where I mention your book:

    • Hi Sparrow! I empathize with you as I know about the alexithymia condition and can only imagine how hard and frustrating it is for you and others who have it. We’ve been contacted by psychologists and therapists before who have said the Emotion Thesaurus book is helpful for them to show clients how to reverse-engineer what they are feeling, because often they experience a sensation but don’t know what emotion it is. (Of course the ET was never meant to be used in this way, but clearly to write realistic fiction we need to draw from real life, and so while we aren’t psychologists, the concepts can be used for both.)

      I can definitely see how the card idea would be helpful. An app would be as well (and perhaps more practical). Regarding the former, unfortunately card-making isn’t like book making in that the only way that would work is a print-on-demand option for cards as Becca and I have our hands too full to take on anything else that would require a lot of management (ordering, shipping, etc.). An app would work better, but two problems there–first, time–time to find a developer, study to see if a market is there, a cost-benefit analysis, etc. and then we’d also need to likely get a psychologist involved, as we’re talking about the real world, not fiction, and Becca and I are not licensed psychologists and so shouldn’t be creating things to be applied to people without some vetting first.

      Sorry, not meaning to throw a wall of text your way, just trying to explain why creating something like this is actually a bit more involved than it appears. It’s not something we have time to look into or pursue unfortunately, but perhaps if someone in the industry saw the benefit some sort of arrangement could be made for using our IP. We’ve been approached before by developers wishing to use our IP for medical apps (but it didn’t work out), so it is possible it may happen again.

      In any case, I am so glad the ET is helpful to you. For now I might suggest that if you got the kindle app and the ebook version, you could access it on your phone as needed?

      And yes, I remember P.D. Workman! We were on a panel together and wow, she is amazingly productive–a master of managing her time. I felt like such a slacker after hearing her daily routine. 🙂

      Thanks so much for writing in, and letting us know about how the book helps. <3

      • Sparrow says:

        Thank you for your fast and thorough reply. It is very informative and helpful and I appreciate it very much.

        And yes, not only is P.D. Workman a gifted writer, she has got to be the most prolific author I know this side of Asimov!

  13. kat says:

    Hi- I just purchased 4 of your books to help improve the book that I’m working on and I’m very excited to use them. However at the risk of seeming overly PC I was disappointed that when I went to the ‘nightclub’ description in Urban Settings that “cougars” were listed. I find that term extremely sexist and demeaning. Where is the negative term for men who look for younger women? I worked at nightclubs for 8 years in NYC and can tell you that I seriously never -yes never- saw that -and I believe it’s misguided stereotypes that keep “older” women from going out dancing like their male counterparts so please don’t encourage it.

    • Fair comment. I am sorry you found the term offensive. It happens to be something I would see often, and the term is one widely used where I am from in Canada, which is why it was included. Not making an excuse, simply explaining how it came to be. Happy writing, and thanks for the feedback. 😉

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