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.
- A jerking walk or run (fleeing a person or situation)
- Replaying the hurtful event over and over
- Hurt that turns to violence (throwing items, damaging property, breaking things)
- Avoiding others
- Seeking out the comfort of a loved one
- Heavy limbs and numbness
- Splotchy skin from crying, red nose, puffy eyes and lips
- A trembling lip
- Shaking the head in denial
- Sudden weakness (leaning against a locker, wall, or doorway)
- Flawed judgement…
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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