DESCRIPTIVE THESAURUS COLLECTION

one-stop-for-writers-badge-xsmallBelow are samples of our current thesaurus collections containing hundreds of descriptive entries to help you add texture and authenticity to your writing. 

For the fully developed version of each collection, please visit their permanent home at One Stop For Writers®.

NEW! Relationship Thesaurus: A character’s relationships can either provide support and encouragement or setbacks and misery. Some even do both. Plan those relationships with care, choosing the ones that will further your story.

Conflict Thesaurus: Every scene needs conflict. Sometimes that comes in the form of a major obstacle, and sometimes it’s something minor that amps up a character’s stress. Check out this collection of tension-building options to up the ante in a flat scene.

Occupation Thesaurus: What job should your character have? What does this say about his goals, passions, or priorities? Careers are important not only for helping define your characters but also as a means of furthering their overall story goals.

Character Motivation Thesaurus (Samples): What’s your character’s overall goal? Why does he want it so badly? What might he have to sacrifice in order to achieve it? What roadblocks could stand in his way? Flesh out your character’s inner and outer goals, as well as their inner and outer conflict, so it all makes the most sense for you and for readers.

Weather & Earthly Phenomenon Thesaurus (Samples): Create the perfect mood and atmosphere for your scene using emotion-targeted sensory description.

Physical Feature Thesaurus (Samples): Hone in on your character’s specific physical features to describes them in a compelling and memorable way, all the while providing clues to the reader about who they really are.

positive-and-negative-thesaurus-books-2Character Trait Thesaurus (Samples): Browse this collection of cardinal personality profiles which have been expanded to become The Positive Thesaurus & The Negative Thesaurus books. The complete collections can also be found at One Stop For Writers®.

Color, Texture, and Shape Thesaurus (Samples): Add layers to your description by choosing the perfect comparison, simile, or metaphor for different shapes, colors, and textures in the natural and urban worlds.

The Setting Thesaurus DuoSetting Thesaurus (Samples): Make your scene descriptions come alive by including smells, sights, tastes, sounds, and textures to your setting. Over 100 different fictional settings are profiled here—a sampling of the 225 expanded and enhanced entries that are available in the Urban & Rural Setting Thesaurus books. The complete collection can also be found at One Stop For Writers®.

Symbolism and Motif Thesaurus (Samples): Deepen the meaning of your story through the use of iconic symbolism for different literary themes (the passage of time, coming of age, etc.).

Emotion Thesaurus (Samples): Avoid frowns, shrugs, smiles, and eye rolls as you craft unique body language, thoughts, visceral sensations, and action for any emotion your character chooses to express. This sample of blog entries has been published not once, but twice, with the 2019 Second Edition of The Emotion Thesaurus containing a total of 130 emotions.

The Talent and Skill Thesaurus: Add authenticity to your characters by giving them skills or talents that make them unique and interesting.

Emotional Wound Thesaurus (Samples): Emotional wounds from the past have the power to greatly impact our characters’ personalities and choices in the future. Get to know your characters intimately by choosing the right emotional wound; understanding its effects will enable you to write realistic, fully-formed characters that resonate with readers and make sense for your story. The full and enhanced version of this thesaurus can be found at One Stop For Writers®.

Emotion Amplifiers High ResNEW TO OUR BOOKS?

Start out with our $1.99 ebooklet, Emotion Amplifiers. This small companion for our popular Emotion Thesaurus contains some bonus entries on states that cause characters to become more emotionally volatile, like Stress, Hunger, Pain, and Attraction. It’s great for adding tension, creating complications, and encouraging your character to make mistakes.

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137 Comments
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[…] Misc. Thesaurus Collections (Various categories from the Writer’s Helping Writers website […]

sheetal goyal
sheetal goyal
1 month ago

hello angela
im from india..my son,12 yrs old,is studying gcse …where he needs to write creative write ups..our english is not that good..your books seems to be helpful…however i would like to know if someone needs whole set all how and where to buy from….also do you have any book on sci fi .like space…alien? i would also like to know if there is any blog where my son can join to learn and share creative ideas?please do let me know

BECCA PUGLISI
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  sheetal goyal

Hi, Sheetal. Becca here. So glad to hear you’re looking into writing resources for your son. To answer your questions, you don’t need to buy the whole set of books because they each stand along in terms of instruction. I would say to start with The Emotion Thesaurus (since I believe it has the instructive content that would be most helpful for someone his age) and then the character trait books, which will give him a crash course in characterization and character building. If you’re interested in purchasing any of our books, that information can be found on our Bookstore page (https://writershelpingwriters.net/bookstore/).

Our books are meant to help writers of all genres, so we don’t currently have anything specifically for sci-fi stories, so I’m afraid we can’t help you there. But if you’re looking for a place where you son can share his work, I highly suggest Critique Circle (www.critiquecircle.com), which is an online community of writers who share excerpts of their work and offer their feedback on other people’s stories. That’s where Angela and I met as critique partners and they don’t have an age limit, so it’s possible your son could find some good advice and partners there.

Best of luck to you and to him!

Becca

Andrea Oregon
Andrea Oregon
25 days ago
Reply to  sheetal goyal

As far as I’ve found on this site, the space ship and space port entries in the setting thesaurus could be helpful starting points for sci fi.

Patricia Wallace
Patricia Wallace
1 month ago

I have ordered half a dozen of your thesauruses and am learning plenty. But there is a problem with The Urban Setting Thesaurus: from page 4 to 144 the last line or two of print at the bottom of each page is missing or partially missing, rendering the book useless for me. Is there a way for me to get a replacement book? I could send you the book for you to check for yourselves. Thanks and have a great day!

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[…] your subscription, you get access to every one of the thesauruses that Angela and Becca have written. That is a total of […]

Krishnendu Bhattacharyya
Krishnendu Bhattacharyya
11 months ago

Is there any new thesaurus on its way? I would definitely like to see the occupation, conflict, and motivation – these three thesauri on my kindle asap. Please don’t make us wait for long. Thanks for your invaluable contribution to the development of writing skills that I am trying to study and practice for a long time. Regards.

J. Paulette Forshey
1 year ago

I purchased the Emotion Thesaurus in ebook form and it doesn’t have an Appendix like my paperback copy of The Emotional Wound Thesaurus, was it supposed to have one or not? Thanks.

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[…] Emotion Thesaurus cover image from Writers Helping Writers. […]

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[…] was part of the reason why Becca and I began building databases of information called thesauruses. We knew it would shorten the brainstorming […]

Emma Gaulton
Emma Gaulton
1 year ago

What I would like is to have the option to purchase all the thesaurus’ in PDF version, so I can add it to my kindle and have it next to wherever I am. So the Occupations/Weather etc, etc would be available to download for say $9.99 US.

I’m not bothered about having a subscription to an online website I would far prefer the option of purchasing the PDFs. These are such great books I want them all on my shelf somehow.

Guest
Guest
1 year ago

I believe that was not what Emma was asking about. She wanted to buy all of the books as PDFs, rather than subscribing to your website. So do I.

I’m sure you’re making plenty of money selling temporary access for $90 a year … but there’s a market besides that of professional writers who can afford that as a business expense. For example, you’re getting $0 from me instead of, say, $20, because I too would buy a PDF compilation (if you didn’t include Digital Restrictions Management — I will not buy DRM-locked books out of principle) but I’m not going to pay anything for temporary access to a site that I might need to use two or three times a year, but have to continue paying for when I’m not using it.

BECCA PUGLISI
Admin
1 year ago
Reply to  Guest

We understand what you’re saying, and why you would rather purchase all the WHW thesauruses in PDF form rather than join a subscription service to access them. The problem is that we don’t have PDFs for all of our thesauruses. It takes quite a chunk of time to clean up a thesaurus, format it, add the necessary instructive front matter so writers will know how to best use the information, and turn it into a digital book (even in PDF form). As such, we’ve had to make hard choices about where our time should go, and we’ve decided to only create PDFs for collections that are being made into books.

This is why Angela suggested One Stop for Writers——because all of our thesauruses can be found there in their entirety. We understand that the subscription model isn’t for everyone, but because we can’t provide what Emma was asking for, we suggested the only other option we currently have. We do appreciate you letting us know what products/formats would be most helpful for you, since this guides our decision making.

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[…] for this is The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. They have a sample list online that I use (scroll […]

Krishnendu Bhattacharyya
Krishnendu Bhattacharyya
1 year ago

Hi,
It feels kind of funny to ask this, but can we please have a thesaurus of obstacles, conflicts, problems, stakes or something like that?

Thanks & regards,
Krishnendu

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[…] and writing skills. One of the types of thesaurus Team KC recommends to all the writers is The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman. This title has an entire series dedicated to various emotions that can help a […]

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[…] https://writershelpingwriters.net/thesaurus-collections/ Go to this website as the authors have created Thesauri about so many parts of writing including 2 on Negative traits and Positive traits. They go into extreme depth and it is so interesting. It is also very helpful and teaching you how to show and tell these traits and so much more. […]

Jimmy Lars
Jimmy Lars
2 years ago

Hi, I’ve taken a brief skim-through of the thesauruses you offer here, but I’m unsure if you have what I’m looking for.

I’m looking for a thesaurus (or another resource) that can give me a list of words to use as types of emotionally-tinged synonym for “said”.

For example “XXX!” she spat, or “X-XXX…” she stammered, or “A, B, C, D…” she rattled off.

Any help would be appreciated.

Jimmy Lars
Jimmy Lars
2 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy Lars

Ah, I see another comment on this 1 page (https://writershelpingwriters.net/suggestion-box/) that asked for the same thing. Guess you don’t have it yet then?

BECCA PUGLISI
Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy Lars

Hi, Jimmy. We don’t currently have a resource for that. The closest thing is our Weak Verbs Converter tool; just scroll down to the “Say” heading to see other words you can use.

The truth is that while some alternatives for “said” are ok to use, “said” typically works better because it’s invisible. When we get too flowery with the dialogue tags, they start to stand out and call attention to themselves. “Said” is one of those words that’s so common; like the, and, and I, it doesn’t get repetitive. So do feel free to throw in the occasional alternative when the situation calls for it, but do so sparingly. For the most part, it’s better to just stick with said. 🙂

Jimmy Lars
Jimmy Lars
2 years ago
Reply to  BECCA PUGLISI

Thanks for the reply and the advice!

BECCA PUGLISI
Admin
2 years ago
Reply to  Jimmy Lars

My pleasure!

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[…] from their own posts, posts by their Resident Writing Coaches (including yours truly), and posts of samples for whatever new thesaurus they have in the works (their newest addition is the Occupation […]

Krishnendu
Krishnendu
2 years ago

Hi, I must admit that all these fruits of your invaluable metculus efforts enriched me to give my ability to express myself a truely desirable orientation, which is why I am requesting for something more; can you please bless us with a thesaurus of plot drivers? Regards….

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[…] fiction. Other authors helping other authors that have also inspired me include K.M. Weiland, Angela Ackerman and Beth Puglisi and their thesauri series. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t also give a nod to […]

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[…] your characterization and story. I reviewed four of them here, and you can learn more about them here as well. They also offer regular blog posts that cover other thesaurus like entries, such as the […]

GUHAN S
GUHAN S
3 years ago

Hello Interested in hearing and reading ur books online.

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[…] The newest edition will be available October 25th, 2017 so mark your calendars! I look forward to adding to this wonderful series! […]

Stephanie Heijkoop
Stephanie Heijkoop
3 years ago

What are you working on next? 🙂

Erika L Hayes
Erika L Hayes
2 years ago

GOT IT!
IT’S AWESOME

Victoria Nicole
Victoria Nicole
3 years ago

I am a professional international psychologist with two minors; business management and english (lit) I need a thesaurus or online, I do not care, that I can get to easily, or have it attached already to my word: to purpose different wording possibilities. If anyone has any ideas or suggestions, I would be grateful and appreciative

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[…] other online resources, my favorite resource for a descriptive vocabulary is — hands down — WritersHelpingWriters.com. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have compiled an incredible collection of thesauri for […]

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[…] I can’t get my friend another book, you say. But what about a book on writing? Every writer will appreciate On Writing by Stephen King or a Descriptive Thesaurus. […]

Hugh Hoinea
Hugh Hoinea
3 years ago

I would like to order one copy of, Emotional Thesaurus.

BECCA PUGLISI
Admin
3 years ago
Reply to  Hugh Hoinea

Hi, Hugh. I’m so glad you’re interested in getting a copy of The Emotion Thesaurus. We don’t sell them directly but use distributors to do that for us. This page contains links to the various places it can be bought, including Indiebound, which will show you any independent bookstores near you that carry our book. Please let us know if you have any trouble. Have a great week!

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[…] There is a thesaurus for practically anything and everything that a writer might be puzzled by, with more coming out as the authors complete them. Their offerings include The Emotion Thesaurus, The Positive Trait Thesaurus as well as The Negative Trait Thesaurus and such in-depth subjects as The Emotional Wounds Thesaurus, The Symbolism and Motif Thesaurus, and The Talent and Skill Thesaurus, plus many more. You can read about them and learn where to purchase them on Angela and Becca’s website. […]

M. Howard
M. Howard
3 years ago

There’s so much I need to learn about writing well. Mostly I concentrate on good plots. Thanks for what you do.

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[…] Descriptive Thesaurus. A thesaurus on how to describe everything from settings, to colors, to people. […]

patricia faithfull
patricia faithfull
4 years ago

In the Negative Trait Thesaurus, Appendix A: Needs and Lies, the Associated Needs and Lies would be souch easier to view, understand and internalize if the information was s into 2 columns. That way the Need and the Lie ( the dicotomoy) would be visually laid out side by side, instead of 6 or 16 lines later.