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.
· Stumbling to a halt
· Dry mouth
· Throat clearing, swallowing
· Fluttering in the stomach, a feeling of emptiness, nausea
· Tongue getting tangled, going speechless
· Non-stop talking
· Mental fuzziness, lightheadedness, dizziness, difficulty focusing on tasks
· Feeling faint
· Tingling skin, a hyper-awareness of the body
· Swaying to bump against the other person as you walk
· Exchanging personal effects (a favorite jacket, a necklace, keys, locker combinations)
· Feeling or displaying jealousy when someone shows interest in your significant other
· Doodling hearts, writing notes to the other person
· Asking a close friend to talk to the person you’re attracted to and determined their feelings…
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.