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.
- Bouncing or tapping feet
- Pulling at one’s hair
- Second-guessing oneself
- Unwillingness to leave a certain place (telephone, house, car)
- Circles under the eyes
- A need for control
- Illogical fears
- Panic attacks
- Repeatedly rubbing at the face
- Reading into things, over-analyzing
- Stooped posture
- A strained or faked smile
- Chewing on a knuckle
- A gaze that flits around the room, never settling on a person or object for long…
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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