The Emotion Thesaurus

I stumbled on The Emotion Thesaurus the way you’d expect when you’re mass-purchasing resource materials at the bookstore to assist in developing a craft. Back when I was an elementary school-aged author, Roget’s thesaurus was the best friend who gave me the kick in the pants to push through using the same simple descriptions in my narrative. Next to reading, reading, and more reading — It was the cherished tool that helped shaped my vocabulary.

The Emotion Thesaurus is an easy-to-navigate “guide to character expression” because emotion, when written about, needs to be powerful. It also needs to capture the fine balance of verbal and nonverbal communication.

It’s essentially a Show, Don’t Tell for Dummies.

Authors Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi categorize the distinct human emotions alphabetically with a corresponding list of their physical responses.

The pages also cite examples of internal sensations, mental responses, cues of acute or long-term effects of said emotion, cues of suppressed emotion, a list of other emotions that one may escalate to, and even writer’s tips.

Let’s take for example, the emotion of  ANTICIPATION:

Sweaty palms
Biting one’s lip
Obsessive clock-watching
Begging someone for details, for an answer, for a look at something
Leaning in
(and about twenty others)

The application technique is to go back through one of your pieces of writing and find all the places where you name the character’s emotions — then swap it out for an action.

He sat in anticipation until she finally approached the passenger door”.

gets re-worked as:

He sat fussing with his collar, unable to think about anything else but her, until she finally approached the passenger door.

Presto change-o!

By giving your character an action (instead of labelling the emotion as a noun or adjective) the readers witness more “doing” and more subtext. The emotion becomes the by-product of the actions or intentions, which is far more interesting. It then becomes a visceral experience for the reader, which is kind of the point of reading, isn’t it?

Prepare for The Emotion Thesaurus to give your narrative richer colour, while refraining from spoon-feeding the reader the emotional state of your character.




Turn Writing into a Business

Welcome Readers to Wendy Writes!

For everyone’s benefit, I pledge to keep my blog posts short and informative.

I will address the topics of writing, the business side of freelancing, lessons learned, resources, and the creative process.

This week’s topic: How a website can help turn your writing into a freelance business.

Here are the quick and clean tips for getting your concept off the ground with a website:

  1. Establish your identity. Find a domain name that matches. Purchase it.
  2. Give yourself a tagline; a motto, a slogan that encompasses who you are and what you bring to this world.
  3. Design a logo or hire someone to do it for you. Create a wordmark, and a combination of the two. Create a business card design. Create jpegs and PDFs in various sizes and obtain raw files of your logo(s). Make them web-ready and print-ready.
  4. Gather high-quality imagery and photographs that encompass your business’ vision. Keep them in a folder as this will soon become a growing identity portfolio.
  5. Build a website using the simple and readily available modern tools; WordPress or Squarespace. Choose a simple and stylish theme. Place your imagery in unexpected places. Apply all the meta tags and required processes to make your site verified, certified and running smoothly. If you need help developing your website, call me.
  6. Pour your capabilities, virtues and gifts into an outline.
  7. Next, write your content.
  8. Place a value – in dollar amount – for your time and abilities. If writing as a business is a new venture for you, then no doubt you have probably worked many hours for free up until now and have done unpaid jobs for friends and family. It’s time to turn a profit.
  9. Identify your potential clients – If you are an experienced writer, you know who they are. If you are new to the business, take some time to consider this aspect before launching.
  10. Don’t be afraid to brand yourself. Most people don’t enjoy faceless organizations.
  11. Before launching send your site’s link to at least five people who can check all the moving parts, find the holes, and offer gentle feedback and suggestions. This is called quality assurance and it is a very important step.
  12. Link your social media accounts or set up new ones which promote your new business.

If you build and nurture it, they will come.