The Resource Mother Lode: How to Write Emotional Wounds

Hi everyone! I thought with the release of  The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma, I’d do a round up of posts on emotional wounds to help with this super-challenging area.

Today I am over at Jane Friedman’s blog looking at Using Dysfunctional Behavior to Reveal Characters’ Emotional Wounds. This post looks at some of the negative defense mechanisms we can use to hint to readers that the character is struggling with the pain of an emotional wound.

If you want to back up the bus a bit and really go over What Is an Emotional Wound? then Becca’s got this covered. (It’s an excerpt from the book, too!) She’s also written about why it’s so important to identify this negative past experience.

You can find ideas on uncovering your character’s emotional wound here and here, and if you want to understand what “type” of wound your character has, try Understanding Wounds: A List of Common Themes. You can also find tips here on how to personalize a wound to minimize or maximize its effect on a character.

If you want to better grasp how emotional wounds lead to personality flaws and other types of dysfunctional emotional shielding, check out How Your Hero’s Past Pain Determines His Character Flaws.

There’s also a post on How to Show a Character Is Beginning To Heal From An Emotional Wound and How To Write About Emotional Trauma Without Triggering Readers.

Also, swing by the Tools for Writers page because we’ve already uploaded tools from The Emotional Wound book. We think you’ll find the Character Arc Progression Tool and the Backstory Wound Profile VERY helpful!

If you’d like to check out The Emotional Wound Thesaurus just visit this page here.  You can also add it to your Goodreads shelf and view a sample entry: Accidentally Killing Someone.

Finally, if you want to use an expanded version of the Emotional Wound Thesaurus, hop on over to One Stop for Writers, where you’ll find it in the largest fiction-focused description database online. There’s a free trial too, if you want to check the site out in depth.
Happy Writing to all!














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, an online library packed with powerful tools to help writers elevate their storytelling.
This entry was posted in Character Wound, Emotional Wound Thesaurus, Uncategorized, Writing Craft, Writing Lessons. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to The Resource Mother Lode: How to Write Emotional Wounds

  1. Pingback: Top Picks Thursday! For Writers & Readers 10-26-2017 | The Author Chronicles

  2. Carol Malone says:

    I’ve been following your website and gleaning advice from you for a very long time. You’ve helped make my writing more powerful, more emotional. I can only write when my Emotional Thesaurus is near and if I can’t find something there, I run to your site. Thank you for the in depth study of the writing process and of writing deeply emotional and vulnerable characters. I don’t ever want to hear my editor tell me again my character is flat, not spark. Thanks to you I won’t. I just ordered the Emotion Wound book.

  3. A mother lode of tips is right!

    Whenever an editor, beta reader or critique partner says “What’s the character arc?” you can bet this area wasn’t developed or communicated effectively. (Trust me, I’ve been there).

    The writer can’t answer this question (the arc) unless they know the Wound the character has in the first place. I believe it’s part of the foundation of creating a good story.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Exactly! If you are writing a change arc, your character can’t transform UNLESS he or she moves past the fear and pain holding them back…which is caused by the backstory wound. 😉

  4. Mary Van Everbroeck says:

    Yes. I second Donna’s comment. Looking forward to learning more.

  5. :Donna says:

    WOW, Angela!!!!!!! Amazing!!! Thank you 😀

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