Monday, May 16, 2011


This is from a website I ran across which is just full of information on craft. This excerpt on describing emotion is an example.
For the complete list and more articles please go to

Language Cues to Emotion


tense jaw/mouth

compressed mouth/lips

biting bottom lip


guttural throat sounds

loud speech/yell/scream

jutted chin

clenched jaw


wrinkled nose

flared nostrils

widened eyes

protruding eyeballs

dilated pupils

hands on hips/away from body

body displayed broadside

squared shoulders

shrug shoulders

body held erect/stand tall

head jerks

tick in cheek/eye/corner of mouth

head brought forward

clenched fists

drumming/tapping fingers

palms down, beating gesture/flailing hands/arms

red face/neck/ears

hitting something with fists

stiff walking

The second site is an excellent one to add as a reference to your writing resource file. Please go to:                                                                                                                                                                          The  Bookshelf Muse.
Emotion Thesarus
The Bookshelf Muse has  an Emotion Thesaurus. It shows how to describe the character’s emotion through a physical action. Each Thursday they introduce new  emotions to the thesaurus, offering writers an ‘idea bank’ for the times when they get stuck.  The lists in the sidebar give an indepth look at specific words,and can help spark an idea for the writer.  At the bottom of the list is an Addendum to the Thesaurus, comprised of secondary/reactive emotions.

Expressing Cardinal Emotions: Male vs. Female Anger (loneliness, fatigue, pain, etc). 

Tendency toward violence: hitting something, kicking, shoving, causing damage to something as an outlet for energy
Clenched fists
Confronting others head on
Tendency to initiate vengeance with others
Letting emotions rule immediate judgement, leading to speeding, stomping down on an accelerator and peeling out of a parking lot, making rash decisions
Internalizes anger, doesn't talk about it
Able to move past anger eventually
Usually forgives and forgets

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