If you want to add tension and complication, an Emotional Amplifier might be just the ticket. This companion to The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression is a body language tool for describing your character’s pain, stress, illness, hunger, dehydration, attraction, and other conditions that amplify an emotional reaction. We hope this short, sample list of expressions will help you better imagine how an amplifier makes your character more emotionally volatile…and prone to mistakes.
If you need to go deeper, we have an ebooklet of Emotional Amplifiers that contains imaginative lists of ways to show how this condition will affect your character’s mental and physical state.
- A bemused smile
- Asking questions that imply you already know the answer
- A too-sweet tone
- Choosing words that cut, degrade, or diminish
- A hand wave that dismisses someone as unimportant
- Raising the voice to draw attention to one’s words
- Rapid, snappy responses
- Narrowed eyes that glitter with a hard or unkind amusement
- Shaking the head while another is speaking
- A loud smacking of the lips or tsking in a condescending manner
- Verbal agreement infused with impatience or rudeness: Okay, sure or Whatever you say
- Belittling one’s ideas, words, or viewpoint
- Pursed lips
- Asking questions geared to discomfort the other person
- Tossing the head…
Turn up the heat on your protagonist by adding conditions that will alter his mood and make him more emotionally reactive.
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