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.
- Forearm muscles appearing cut from stone
- Thoughts of violence, playing out fantasies of violence or humiliation
- Bitter, seething words meant to provoke
- A black mood that no one can dispel
- A pinched face, frigid features, mouth twisted into a snarl or sneer
- Spitting in someone’s face, at their feet or in their direction
- Rash decisions, impaired judgment
- Single-minded focus on how to destroy another
- Starting hateful gossip
- An inability to enjoy positive things or happiness
- Angry tears
- Cursing, swearing
- A scathing tone
- A shaking, rage-filled voice
- Promising or declaring to another that you will destroy them/make them pay…
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.