Craft Powerful Stories by Mastering Description
A writer’s goal is to create story magic, drawing readers into the fictional lives of characters so they experience another’s life journey as if it were their own. To bend the reader’s reality in such a way requires skilled handling of a specific storytelling element: Description.
Description touches everything. Our bestselling thesaurus guides teach writers how to use show-don’t-tell to reveal a character’s deepest layers and make readers feel more involved in the world, events, and undercurrents taking place in the story.
Often called the “gold standard” of writing guides, the Writers Helping Writers thesaurus collection is available in eight languages and has sold over 750,000 copies. These books are used in universities and by editors, agents, writing coaches & authors all over the world. (More on what’s being said about our resources.)
Our books are available at all major online retailers, can be ordered by bookstores, or can be purchased directly from us. Note: This page includes affiliate links and, as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Signed Copies & Bulk Sales
Need a signed copy for a writing friend? Or wondering if you can order books in bulk (print, digital, or PDF) for your workshop, event, or to give as a gift to editing clients? Just email us for a quote.
When it comes to digital bundles, we have two options. (Please note that Emotion Amplifiers isn’t included.)
- The WHW Descriptive Thesaurus Collection Bundle is Kindle-only and available for Amazon.com customers.
- The Google Play bookstore has a Build a Bundle option that provides a discount on multiple epub purchases.
Indie Bookstores & Libraries
Like to shop local? Bookstores and libraries should be able to bring in our books for you. Give them the book’s ISBN number (listed on individual books below) as you submit your request.
The Conflict Thesaurus, Volume 2:
A Writer’s Guide to Obstacles, Adversaries, and Inner Struggles
The Conflict Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Obstacles, Adversaries, and Inner Struggles (Volume 2) explores more ways to activate story conflict and tension and serves up 115 more scenarios that lead to power struggles, lost advantages, dangers, threats, ego-related conflicts, and more. Use this guide to plot fresh challenges and story problems that will trip your characters up and force them to strive harder to win.
The Conflict Thesaurus, Volume 1:
A Writer’s Guide to Obstacles, Adversaries, and Inner Struggles
Every story starts with a character motivated by a need and a goal that can resolve it. Physical obstacles, adversaries, moral dilemmas, deep-seated doubts and personal struggles…conflict keeps the plot fresh, challenges characters as they traverse their arc, builds tension and high stakes, and most importantly, keeps readers emotionally invested from beginning to end.
The Occupation Thesaurus:
A Writer’s Guide to Jobs, Vocations, and Careers
When you choose a character’s job with care you gain a way to show-not-tell their personality, skills, interests, priorities, beliefs, and more. Plus, you can use it to generate conflict, provide a route to goals and dreams, and showcase key relationships. If you need a guide to finding and describing the perfect job for your character that will further the story, this is it!
The Character Trait Thesaurus Boxed Set
Your favorite character personality brainstorming guides bundled together and beautifully cross-linked for quick searching between volumes. Find out why so many writers keep this powerful duo close at hand when they plan characters. Available in ePub, Mobi, and PDF. $9.99
Please note this book is not available through Amazon. You can purchase a copy through the iBooks Store (ePub) or use the BUY THE BUNDLE button to pick up a PDF, a mobi file for your kindle, or an ePub file for all other e-readers (Kobo, etc.). Instructions for downloading files to your device will be included with your receipt.
The Emotion Thesaurus:
A Writer’s Guide to Character Expressions
(Expanded Second Edition)
Do your characters smile, frown, sign, or shiver too much? Are their hearts always racing, their breath rushing, or worse, they stand there, doing nothing at all? It’s okay, you aren’t alone. Writing powerful, fresh emotional description can be a challenge…or rather it used to be before The Emotion Thesaurus came along. This bestselling guide helps you break free from tired description and telling by providing you with lists of body language, thoughts, visceral sensations, vocal cues (and more!) for 130 unique emotions. Get ready to master show-don’t-tell.
Are you a collector? Information and purchasing options for the first edition of The Emotion Thesaurus can be found here.
The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma
For characters to come across as authentic, they need a past, the same as you or me. And, like us, part of their history includes painful experiences known as emotional wounds which generate fears, insecurities, trust issues, and make it difficult for them to take risks when it matters most. This guide will lead you to specific types of trauma (and the dysfunctional behaviors tied to them) so you can choose what your character’s vulnerability is, what it will look like on the page, and develop a character arc where they overcome the past…or succumb to it.
The Rural Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Personal and Natural Places
One of the most powerful storytelling elements is your setting…but are you using it as well as you should? This guide not only lists sensory details for over 100 natural and personal settings, it provides options for conflict in each location and shows you how to build mood, steer the plot, and apply symbolism for deeper, more meaningful scenes.
The Urban Setting Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to City Spaces
Is your setting description pulling its weight in the story, or is it just sort of…there? Do more with your settings, activating their power to characterize the story’s cast, deepen emotional moments, deliver backstory without info dumps, and more. This guide does all this and more, in addition to providing you with lists of sensory description for over 120 modern locations.
The Positive Trait Thesaurus:
A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes
Every character has good qualities, even the bad guy. Attributes help your characters come alive on the page by revealing their identity, showing readers how they treat other people, and giving them a moral compass to live by. This guide does a deep dive on 100 positive traits to help you brainstorm unique combinations of strengths to help your characters bend the story to their will and win reader’s hearts.
The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws
Ready to explore your character’s dark side? Protagonist, antagonist, or someone in between—all characters have negative qualities that mess up their relationships, keep them from achievement, and stymie internal growth. This thesaurus digs into over 100 character flaws, how to show them through dysfunctional behavior and attitudes, and provides ideas on how they will cause problems in the story.
Emotion Amplifiers: A Companion to The Emotion Thesaurus
If you know and love The Emotion Thesaurus, you’ll be happy to know that this companion ebooklet brings you more great ways to describe your character’s emotional state by amplifying their reactions using common states of being. Whether your character is hungry, bored, cold or stuck in the thrall of attraction, their emotions are amped, meaning they are more likely to make missteps and mistakes. And that means conflict and raised stakes! This guide contains all the body language, expressions, thoughts, viscerals, and more to help you amplify your character’s feelings. Available as an ebook and PDF.
Grab your copy at Amazon or buy the PDF direct. ($2.99)
These books are also part of the largest descriptive database for writers available.
Meet One Stop for Writers
Becca and Angela know strong storytelling and have spent years building a writer’s library filled with incredible resources, including your favorite thesauruses.
One Stop For Writers® is a powerful creativity portal which places one-of-a-kind story and character tools at your keyboard so you have what you need when you need it.
Take the video tour and then activate a 2-week free trial to explore this game-changing site for yourself (HINT: make sure to check out the fan-favorite Character Builder tool). Writing can be easier!
To discover more about what One Stop for Writers has to offer, visit the Features and Tools page.
Did you know Writers Helping Writers® donates a portion of book sales to a charitable organization each year?
To date we have given $8000+ to charitable projects. We’re able to donate to a worthy cause due to your kind support, so thank you very much!