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About Angela Ackerman
ANGELA ACKERMAN is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of 11 bestselling books for writers, including The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. Her books are available in 10 languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. Her home country is Canada.
Angela is also the co-founder of the popular site Writers Helping Writers®, as well as One Stop for Writers®, a portal to powerful tools and resources that help you think like a writing expert so you become a stronger storyteller. A strong believer in writers helping and supporting other writers, she tries to pay-it-forward however she is able to.
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Inside Volume 2 of The Conflict Thesaurus, you’ll find:
- A myriad of conflict options in the form of power struggles, ego-related stressors, dangers and threats, advantage and control losses, and other miscellaneous challenges
- Information on how each scenario should hinder the character on the path to their goal so they'll learn valuable life lessons and gain insight into what's holding them back internally
- Instruction about using the multiple levels of conflict to add pressure through immediate, scene-level challenges and looming problems that take time to solve
- Guidance on keeping a story’s central conflict in the spotlight and utilizing subplots effectively so they work with—not against—the main plotline
- An exploration of the climax and how to make this pinnacle event highly satisfying for readers
- Ways to use conflict to deepen your story, facilitate epic adversarial showdowns, give your characters agency, and infuse every scene with tension
The bestselling Emotion Thesaurus, often hailed as “the gold standard for writers” and credited with transforming how writers craft emotion, has now been expanded to include 55 new entries!
One of the biggest struggles for writers is how to convey emotion to readers in a unique and compelling way. When showing our characters’ feelings, we often use the first idea that comes to mind, and they end up smiling, nodding, and frowning too much.
If you need inspiration for creating characters’ emotional responses that are personalized and evocative, this ultimate show-don’t-tell guide for emotion can help. It includes:
- Body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for 130 emotions that cover a range of intensity from mild to severe, providing innumerable options for individualizing a character’s reactions
- A breakdown of the biggest emotion-related writing problems and how to overcome them
- Advice on what should be done beforedrafting to make sure your characters’ emotions will be realistic and consistent
- Instruction for how to show hidden feelings and emotional subtext through dialogue and nonverbal cues
- And much more!
The Emotion Thesaurus, in its easy-to-navigate list format, will inspire you to create stronger, fresher character expressions and engage readers from your first page to your last.
Every story starts with a character who is motivated by a need and has a goal that can resolve it. Whether their objective is to find a life partner, bring a killer to justice, overthrow a cruel regime, or something else, conflict transforms a story premise into something fresh. Physical obstacles, adversaries, moral dilemmas, deep-seated doubts and personal struggles…these not only block a character’s external progress, they become a gateway for internal growth. The right conflict will build tension and high stakes, challenge characters as they traverse their arcs, and most importantly, keep readers emotionally invested from beginning to end.
Inside Volume 1 of The Conflict Thesaurus, you’ll find:
- A myriad of conflict options in the form of relationship friction, failures and mistakes, moral dilemmas and temptations, pressure and ticking clocks, and no-win scenarios
- An analysis of each scenario that maps out possible complications and catastrophes, internal struggles, and the stressful impacts on a character’s basic human needs
- Guidance on using conflict to influence your protagonist's character arc through opportunities for failure and success
- Master class instruction on internal conflict: what it is, why it's important, and how to incorporate it at the scene and story levels
- Information about the role conflict plays in generating high stakes that are personally significant to the character, upping the tension for readers
- A breakdown of the various adversaries your character might encounter along the way
Don't give your character a break. Keep the hits coming with a variety of obstacles that will force them to work harder to get what they want. With over 100 entries arranged in a user-friendly format, The Conflict Thesaurus is the guide you need to write intense and satisfying fiction readers won’t forget.
TAKE CHARACTER CREATION TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL
Nothing adds complexity like character flaws. Inside the Negative Trait Thesaurus you’ll find:
*A vast collection of flaws to explore when building a character’s personality.
*Each entry includes possible causes, attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and related emotions
*Real examples from literature, film, or television to show how each flaw can create life challenges and relational friction
*Advice on building layered and memorable characters from the ground up
*An in-depth look at backstory, emotional wounds, and how pain twists a character’s view of himself and his world, influencing behavior and decision making
*A flaw-centric exploration of character arc, relationships, motivation, and basic needs
*Tips on how to best show a character’s flaws to readers while avoiding common pitfalls
*Downloadable tools to aid writers in character creation
The Negative Trait Thesaurus sheds light on your character’s dark side. Written in list format and fully indexed, this brainstorming resource is perfect for creating deep, flawed characters readers will relate to.
UNEARTH YOUR CHARACTER’S UNIQUE PERSONALITY
Character creation can be hard, but it’s about to get a lot easier. Inside The Positive Trait Thesaurus, you’ll find:
*A large selection of attributes to choose from when building a personality profile. Each entry lists possible causes for why a trait might emerge, along with associated attitudes, behaviors, thoughts, and emotions
*Real character examples from literature, film, or television to show how an attribute drives actions and decisions, influences goals, and steers relationships
*Advice on using positive traits to immediately hook readers while avoiding common personality pitfalls
*Insight on human needs and morality, and how each determines the strengths that emerge in heroes and villains alike
*Information on the key role positive attributes play within the character arc, and how they’re vital to overcoming fatal flaws and achieving success
*Downloadable tools for organizing a character’s attributes and providing a deeper understanding of his past, his needs, and the emotional wounds he must overcome
If you find character creation difficult or worry that your cast members all seem the same, The Positive Trait Thesaurus is brimming with ideas to help you develop one-of-a-kind, dynamic characters that readers will love. Extensively indexed, with entries written in a user-friendly list format, this brainstorming resource is perfect for any character creation project.
Inside The Rural Setting Thesaurus, you’ll find:
• A list of the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds for over 100 settings revolving around school, home, and nature
• Possible sources of conflict for each location to help you brainstorm ways to naturally complicate matters for your characters
• Advice on the many effective ways to build mood, helping you steer both the character’s and readers’ emotions in every scene
• Information on how the setting directly influences the plot by acting as a tuning fork for what a character needs most and by testing his dedication to his goals
• A tutorial on figurative language and how different descriptive techniques can bring settings alive for readers while conveying a symbolic message or deeper meaning
• A review of the challenges that arise when writing description, as well as special considerations that apply specifically to rural and personal settings
The Rural Setting Thesaurus takes “show-don’t-tell” to new heights. It offers writers a roadmap to creating fresh setting imagery that impacts the story on multiple levels while keeping readers engaged from the first page to the last.
What if there was a shortcut for helping readers get to know your characters? Would you take it?
Characters are as complex as people and revealing their inner layers without chunky blocks of pace-stopping description is a challenge. The Occupation Thesaurus can help you unlock one of the best tools in your show-don’t-tell writing kit: a character’s job.
Occupations are part of our everyday world, meaning they can be used to encourage readers to make associations between a type of work and the person doing it, shortening the “get to know the character” curve. Whether a person loves or hates what they do, a job can reveal many things, including their priorities, beliefs, desires, and needs. The Occupation Thesaurus will show you how a career choice can characterize, drive the plot, infuse scenes with conflict, and get readers on the character’s side through the relatable pressures, responsibilities, and stakes inherent with work.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX REGARDING CAREER OPTIONS
Select a job that packs a powerful punch. Inside The Occupation Thesaurus, you’ll find:
- Informative profiles on popular and unusual jobs to help you write them with authority
- Believable conflict scenarios for each occupation, giving you unlimited possibilities for adding tension at the story and scene level
- Advice for twisting the stereotypes often associated with these professions
- Instruction on how to use jobs to characterize, support story structure, reinforce theme, and more
- An in-depth study on how emotional wounds and basic human needs may influence a character’s choice of occupation
- A brainstorming tool to organize the various aspects of your character’s personality so you can come up with the best careers for them
Do more with your description and choose a profession for your character that showcases who they are, what they want, and what they believe in. With over 120 entries in a user-friendly format, The Occupation Thesaurus is an entire job fair for writers.
Inside The Urban Thesaurus, you’ll find:
• A list of the sights, smells, tastes, textures, and sounds for over 120 urban settings
• Possible sources of conflict for each location to help you brainstorm ways to naturally complicate matters for your characters
• Advice on how to make every piece of description count so you can maintain the right pace and keep readers engaged
• Tips on utilizing the five senses to encourage readers to more fully experience each moment by triggering their own emotional memories
• Information on how to use the setting to characterize a story’s cast through personalization and emotional values while using emotional triggers to steer their decisions
• A review of specific challenges that arise when writing urban locations, along with common descriptive pitfalls that should be avoided
The Urban Setting Thesaurus helps you tailor each setting to your characters while creating a realistic, textured world readers will long to return to, even after the book closes.
In Emotion Amplifiers, a companion guide to The Emotion Thesaurus, we explore 15 common states that naturally galvanize emotion. States like exhaustion, boredom, illness, pain, and extreme hunger can push characters to the limit, compromising their decision-making abilities and decreasing the likelihood of them reaching their goals. Emotion Amplifiers is a great tool for any writer wishing to tighten the screws on their characters and amp up the tension in their stories.
Did you know there's a SECOND EDITION of The Emotion Thesaurus? Find it by clicking the author's names.
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 highlighting 75 emotions and listing the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each.
Using its easy-to-navigate list format, readers can draw inspiration from character cues that range in intensity to match any emotional moment. 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.