Once more with feeling

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this resource before, but it came up at a recent critique group meeting, and I thought I’d highlight it again.

The Emotion Thesaurus by Ackerman & Puglisi


Ackerman and Puglisi have compiled a wonderful resource for showing, not telling, a character’s emotions. I use it all the time. Each emotion covered has a definition, a list of physical signals, internal sensations, and mental responses, and a list each of acute or long-term cues and suppressed cues.

While I’ve found several emotions that aren’t listed, there’s always a similar emotion given, and I’ve yet to stump the thesaurus, slim though it may be. Each section also has a general writer’s tip at the end, giving you even more helpful hints for dealing with emotion and other aspects of the writer’s craft. Apparently, they’re working on a second edition with even more content and linkages. Looking forward to it!

Give them a look-see – and while you’re there, check out some of the many other wonderful goodies at The Bookshelf Muse!


11 thoughts on “Once more with feeling

  1. What a great testimonial for The Emotion Thesaurus! It chuffs me up to hear that it’s being discussed in critique groups and blogs :). Thanks so much for spreading the word, Leslie.

  2. Leslie, I LOVE Angela and Rebecca’s site and their books (I have all three thesauruses which, still not able to work on my novels, have not put to good use yet, but you can bet I will! EVERY writer should follow them and own these books, in my opinion 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for the shout out! Very pleased you are finding it helpful. And feel free to ping us with any emotions you’d like to see added…down the road we’ll do a second addition and will be looking to expand. 🙂

    Happy writing!


  4. This is an absolute must have. Especially when you think you are smart and you’re positive you never use cliche ways to express emotions…it’s good to see the full breadth of ways to show feelings.

  5. I can clearly see I need to run, make that bolt, out to buy this book. Thanks for letting us know about this gem.

  6. Thanks to “crashes personal” for the comment:

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