Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Inspiration from Emotion

Today, I am just so...ya know, angry? I can't quite express this feeling. It's like in a country song when you're singing about revenge and mostly being really hurt. Ok, maybe it's not that bad, but more deeply annoyed. I know that I can't really be mad at this person; it wouldn't be right. But that puts me off even more. My whole forehead feels tight and frowny (maybe that's just 'cause I got knocked with a chew toy). My shoulders are hunched. My stomach turns with acid. I am really angry.

Hopefully, that last phrase clarified that messy paragraph and you now know what my character is feeling. No?

Do your characters ever experience emotional breakdowns that you have trouble putting on paper? Do you try to explore the emotion, write a poor paragraph on it and only barely get the point across? Do you look in the mirror for inspiration, only to start plucking your eyebrows instead?

You need...the Emotion Thesaurus! I just recently found it and it's fabulous. A couple of writers got together to make lists of body language, speech patterns and behaviors that illustrate feelings. There's some listson the website, but they've got a ebook and paper book for sell too. On their website, there is also lists for colors, character traits, weather phenomena, settings and more.

What do you do to help you express emotion in real life or on paper? 


  1. Oh, wow, thanks for the link!
    The closest I can come to capturing my characters' emotions is if I write a page or two in stream of consciousness. Then I can usually tweak it back into a proper third person paragraph... Usually.

  2. I usually don't struggle that much, because my characters let me completely into their heads. :-)

  3. How cool is that! Thanks for the link. :)