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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Short Review: The Emotion Thesaurus; A Writer's Guide to Character Expression

Words from the CLab: This a new feature for the CLab. We are exploring some of the books we've used in our repertoire pertaining to fiction writing. Today's selection comes from a very recent purchase from and is available in Kindle format. The Emotional Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression by authors, Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, is a brainstorming device that expands on the "showing" of characters' emotions.

The CLab Approach

Note: This review is the reflection of the Editor's opinion and does not reflect the views of said author(s) of this book. Readers are free to form their own opinions and are welcomed to express their comments - in a polite manner of course.

Book Overview (As Provided by
One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying a character's emotions to the reader in a unique, compelling way. This book comes to the rescue by exploring seventy-five emotions and listing the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each. 

Written in an easy-to-navigate list format, readers can draw inspiration from character cues that range in intensity to match any emotional moment, including situations where a character is trying to hide their feelings from others. The Emotion Thesaurus also tackles common emotion-related writing problems and provides methods to overcome them. 

This writing tool encourages writers to show, not tell emotion and is a creative brainstorming resource for any fiction project.

The Highlights
The CLab doesn't recommend this book for beginner writers who have just started writing. We at the CLab suggest this book to those who have a basic understanding of conveying character emotions and have an intermediate skill in writing.  

What This Book Will and Won't Do For You
Provides a satisfactory list detailing the physical, internal and mental aspects of portraying emotion.
Provides helpful cues of expressing long and short term body language, writer's tips and how to escalate the emotion further.
Provide a wide variety of emotions for the reader to select from.

Hold the writer's hand every step of the way. It gives the writer the tools to expand their vocabulary within their respective fields.