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, and mental responses for 75 emotions in The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression.
- Shuffling one’s feet
- Pulling or tugging at the clothes
- Cold hands
- A hesitating nod
- Swallowing more than usual
- Avoiding speaking or open agreement
- Wincing as others agree or commend someone for their solution
- Rubbing the back of the neck
- Dry-washing one’s hands
- Shaking the head
- Coughing as one agrees or supports a doubtful decision or stance
- Sharing a look with an ally, raising eyebrows to convey feelings
- Making alternative suggestions…
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.
Prefer the flexibility of instant online access and greater searchability?
The Emotion Thesaurus is also at our sister site, One Stop for Writers. There, we’ve expanded the entries to include many more emotions such as grief, lust, and self-loathing. Visit the Emotion Thesaurus Page to view our complete list of entries.
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