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The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide To Character Expression Paperback – May 6, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm rounding up because my only complaint is that I couldn't find a linked list/index to go from one entry to the next, back, or otherwise. I am going to search around the book to see if it does indeed exist and to see if it merely escaped me on my first pass. I'll knock off half a star for that, but I'm going to round up because this truly is a wonderful writing aid. (I'll amend my review if I locate it or if someone points it out.)
A wide variety of emotions are given in this book, each of the entries supplying information on the overall effects each emotional state has on people, from what others might notice or see to what a person might feel inside. Thus, it's a wonderful tool for examples in any point of view and wonderfully supports the modern, accepted style: third person limited. However, this tool could just as easily be used for any style or point of view.
In my opinion, this guide could be useful to both new and experienced writers of fiction. For the former, this is an amazing resource for learning how to write convincing characters and see how emotions translate into writing (then, hopefully, provoking sympathy, empathy, or whatever feeling you wish to evoke in the reader). For the latter, I would say that this can easily be a go-to reference for experienced writers to shake things up a bit and to avoid the long hours of research it would require to do the legwork already done in this guide. I've loaded this book onto my Kindle, and it's ready to go, along with my thesaurus, dictionary, and other reference material. This is one book that will be permanently loaded onto my device.
So, what's this reference work like?
Well, surprisingly, it's in the form of a thesaurus: novel, eh? There's a short introductory section that provides a brief overview of emotion and its place in writing. A short article on avoiding common problems in conveying nonverbal emotion follows. And a short explanatory piece then explains how best to use the thesaurus. After these pieces come the listings.
Now, I don't know about you, but perhaps because I'm a man and therefore emotionally challenged, I'd have found it difficult to come up with a list of more than ten emotions. So it was something of a surprise to discover 75, yes seventy five, listed here. For each of these, the authors have provided a definition of the emotion, a list of physical signals, the internal sensations experienced, the mental responses felt, cues of acute or long-term encounters with and cues of suppressed experience of the emotion. The final piece on each is a short writer's tip.
The book sets out to enable writers to convey emotion in the time-honoured fashion of `showing' rather than the easier and less satisfying `telling'.Read more ›
This book is almost exactly as should be expected of a thesaurus. There are 75 emotions that the book focuses on with each being separated into five distinct categories.
-Cues of Acute or Long-term [Emotion]
-Cues of Suppressed [Emotion]
At the bottom of each entry, the authors have also included a "Writer's Tip" section which briefly suggests some useful tips regarding how to convey the emotion.
Each of the categories list possible alternatives to the basic emotion. But, you should note that some entries lack alternative emotions in comparison to those more extensively covered. For example, DOUBT has an entire page dedicated to the PHYSICAL SIGNALS while only providing one expression for INTERNAL SENSATIONS. This is compared to the eleven that can be found for FEAR. I also wonder why some combinations were left out such as the combination of FEAR AND DOUBT.
In contrast to the glowing reviews by others, the helpfulness of this books should be taken with caution. It may be useful to those who are new to writing or are in the beginning stages of their novel writing careers. However, if you are slightly more experienced and have taken a introductory composition course, the value of this book quickly diminishes. Those of you looking for a more in-depth analysis and explanation into how to use various emotions, this book may come up a little sparse. Thus, this book should be used as a supplement but definitively should not be used to supplant manuals or writing guidebooks.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this to help me with my writing and now I couldn't live without it. I love having the book within an arm's reach, while I am writing. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Lily
Very helpful tool, it makes you think in all directions when talking about emotionsPublished 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
This book is one of the most important books I have read. It was recommended by my editor and has helped me become a much better writer.Published 10 days ago by mc
Great resource for writers who want their characters to do more than laugh, shrug, and frown to express themselves. Read morePublished 14 days ago by vb
Book is useful if you do not have a large vocabulary. It is about 8th grade level.Published 15 days ago by Finnigan
Not quite as good as I had expected, but in writing everything is helpful.Published 17 days ago by ROY L. COVER
The Emotion Thesaurus is in a special pile of "resources I can't write without" that sits next to my laptop. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Karen R. Sargent