When it comes to emotion, sometimes we need a brainstorming nudge. After all, each character will express their feelings differently depending on their personality, emotional range, and comfort zone. We hope this short, sample list of expressions will help you better imagine how your character might show this emotion!
If you need to go deeper, we have detailed lists of body language, visceral sensations, dialogue cues, and mental responses for 130 emotions in the 2019 expanded second edition of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression.
- Sullen looks, glowering
- Hot eyes, tears forming
- Sitting against a wall, holding the knees to the chest and staring off angrily
- Minor destruction as a release (crumpling paper or breaking pencils)
- Rash decisions (impulsively quitting a team or storming out of a party)
- Jeering, calling names, running someone down
- Starting rumors, acting catty
- Shoving the person who caused the jealous feelings
- Showing off
- A desire for revenge
- Reckless behavior (trusting a stranger, using drugs or alcohol…
Win your readers’ hearts by tailoring your character’s emotional responses so they’re compelling, credible, and realistic.
If you struggle with writing emotions, you aren’t alone. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression has helped writers all over the globe, and it can help you. To find out more about this bestselling book, please visit our bookstore.
Prefer the flexibility of instant online access and greater searchability?
The Emotion Thesaurus is also at our sister site, One Stop for Writers. Visit the Emotion Thesaurus Page to view our complete list of entries.
TIP: While you’re there, check out our hyper-intelligent Character Builder that helps you create deep, memorable characters in half the time!
Angela is a writing coach, international speaker, and bestselling author who loves to travel, teach, empower writers, and pay-it-forward. She also is a founder of One Stop For Writers, a portal to powerful, innovative tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
So good! Thank you! I’ve just purchased 4 of your books because of this one post.
BECCA PUGLISI says
Oh, I’m so glad to hear it, Tammy. Happy that this post and our books are helping you out. Best of luck!
Una Mariah says
This blog is great. I have a character in my story who’s jealous of my M.C. and all I have so far is “he was jealous” statements, that get boring after a while.
I was just told by a publisher purchasing my work to remove all “she was jealous” type statements and replace with showing…
Here is where I went immediately. 😀
Cookies and flowers to you guys for the theasurus!
Jay! Another entry for the emotion thesaurus. Thanks.
Your faithful lurker. 🙂