Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Writer's Resource: Emotion Thesaurus

Hello out there, blogosphere! Welcome to Thinking to Inking.


We're jumping right in today with the first of what's going to be a regular feature: Writer's Resource Tuesdays. Every week, we'll post a review of a tool--website, book, software, etc.--that we think might be helpful for writers. 

Feel free to suggest resources for future posts in the comments!

Today's post features the marvelous Emotion Thesaurus developed by the gals who blog at The Bookshelf Muse

We're all familiar with the "show, don't tell" adage, right? (If not, there's a great article on the subject on the Writing Forward blog here.) Basically, it's always better to show a character's mindset through action or dialogue beats (sometimes called action tags) than to come right out and tell the reader what they're supposed to be thinking.


Found in the first right column of The Bookshelf Muse blog, the Emotion Thesaurus consists of a list of few dozen basic emotions, like anger, fear, guilt, and enthusiasm. 

Click on one and you'll see a list of many different ways to show that emotion in your writing. Have a character who's confused? Click on "Confusion" and you'll see a list which includes the following: brows drawing together, running hands through hair, taking extra time to react, pinching bridge of nose, and many, many more. It can be very helpful the next time you're drawing a blank.

And I'm obviously not the only one who thinks so, since the blog authors have an Emotion Thesaurus book coming out on May 14th: 

The book includes more emotions and more beats than the website. The ebook will be available for only $4.99, and there will also be a print version available for $15.

You can check out the book's Goodreads page here. I, for one, will be purchasing it the day it comes out!

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