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Monday, March 21, 2016

The Emotion Thesaurus--My Favorite Writing Resource

by Pamela S. Meyers

Whenever I’m asked what writing resources I keep at my elbow, the first that I name is The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (ET) by Angela Ackerman and Becca Publisi.

Several years ago, I was told my main character seemed flat in a particular scene. “What is she feeling? Show us.” I’d just purchased the Kindle version of ET and I used the book to help me deepen my character by showing the emotion she was feeling. By the time I rewrote the scene, I’d gone into a deeper POV than before and received high praises from my crit partner.

ET takes 75 different emotions and gives you the: Definition, Physical Signals, Internal Sensations, Mental Responses, Cues of acute or long-term feelings of the emotion, what other emotions the emotion may escalate to, Cues of Suppressed emotion, and a Writer’s Tip. If nothing gels with you, there are suggested related emotions at the bottom of the page that you can link to which may better fit the scene and character.

The book is available in print and Amazon Kindle, but I highly recommend getting the Kindle version because it is so easy to jump from one emotion to another similar emotion, as they are all displayed as links. I know you can do the same with a print version, but it would be more time consuming to flip the pages back and forth.
Partial List of Information for "Amazement"

Another feature is called "May Escalate To", which takes the emotion to the next level. This feature has gotten my muse going, and I’ve used it very effectively.  

The last link takes you back to the Table of Contents where you can check out the other emotions.

 I haven’t even mentioned the introductory discussion at the front of the book about bringing emotion into your fiction writing. At $5.00, the Kindle version of ET is a writer’s treasure trove of information.

You can find it at Amazon at

A native of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, author Pamela S. Meyers lives in suburban Chicago with her two rescue cats. Her novels include Thyme for Love, which has recently been rereleased on Amazon and her 1933 historical romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Love is All We Need (the sequel to Thyme for Love) will release in 2016, and Second Chance Love from Bling!, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, will release in January 2017. When she isn’t at her laptop writing her latest novel, she can often be found nosing around Wisconsin and other Midwestern spots for new story ideas.


  1. Well aren't you wonderful, posting about The Emotion Thesaurus! I am so glad you're finding it helpful.

    I don't know if you have it, but we did create a free companion for it called "Emotion Amplifiers." (I don't want to be spammy and link, but if you need it, just serch the title on Amazon.) Happy writing! :)


  2. Love that book! I personally have several of your books in my library. Thank you for writing them.

  3. Angela Ackerman, aren't you nice to post here in the comments. I have all your books, but ET is the one I use the most. I recommend it to everyone--newbies and veteran writers. I just mentioned it to my editor a couple days ago. Thank YOU for providing such a valuable resource!


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