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.
· Rushed words, a bubbly or loud tone
· Rapt attention
· Talking over people, monopolizing conversation, using lots of excitable language
· Grabbing onto people and squeezing to transfer/display hyper feelings
· Repeating oneself
· Yelling, screaming, cheering, clapping, hooting
· Talking in hushed, excitable tones
· Gossiping, sharing secrets, swapping opinions while gazes dart toward object of discussion and then away again
· Rubbing one’s hands together
· Bringing a chair in closer to the table to be closer to the action/conversation/group
· An inability to concentrate on anything else
· Quirking an eyebrow and smiling
· A desire to share, include others
· Excessive friendliness, perhaps even with those not in one’s own social circle
· Bursts of laughter, giggling, hyperness
· Exaggerated movements, actions
· Loss of inhibitions
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.
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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.