Millions of people want to write books. A few of them will actually start writing. A few of those will finish writing. If you’re stranded between starting and finishing, sadly aware that you’re missing something, then Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi could be your salvation.
Ackerman and Puglisi have created a series of thesauri that help writers develop powerful, engaging characters and settings. These non-traditional tools can help a writer find new angles, depth, and vocabulary for what they want to convey. I have a few of them, both for my personal reference and for my creative writing classes. I was delighted with the opportunity to see their latest release, in exchange for a fair review.
The latest tool in the arsenal is a re-vamp of the first thesaurus. The Emotion Thesaurus 2nd edition has almost doubled the first edition. There are articles on how and why to use various emotions, as well as 55 more emotions to examine.
The articles are clear and easy to apply. I will be using “Emotion and Dialogue” with my creative writing students.
Each emotion entry provides
- a definition
- a long list of physical signals and behaviours of the emotion in action
- internal responses to the emotion
- mental responses to the emotion
- acute or long-term impacts of the emotion
- signs that the emotion is being suppressed
- where it may escalate or de-escalate
- power verbs associated with the emotion.
Now, sure, you would probably be able to figure out a lot of these areas if you contemplated long and hard, but more likely you’d settle for the first few things that occured to you, and miss a variety of points that would add depth to your characterization. While you were thinking, you wouldn’t be writing more on the story.
When you find a sign of an emotion that you’d never considered, and it gives you new directions at the same time, you’ve struck gold. It leads to plot points you may not have considered. I will make good use of this book.
The Emotion Thesaurus 2nd edition is a valuable tool to help writers save time, develop depth, and learn more about their characters. Highly recommended for your writers’ toolbox!
Visit their website to explore the entry for schadenfreude as an example of what you can expect.
You can buy The Emotion Thesaurus 2nd ed. at the usual sites. If you use the link at left, I earn a bit as an Amazon Affiliate.