Posted by: Kathy Temean | October 23, 2012

Emotional Thesaurus

I have talked about Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi and their blog The Bookshelf Muse over the last three years. They have lots of great articles about writing better characters by helping you with lists of emotions and reactions. Some of the helpful things you will find on the side bar is:

A Setting Thesaurus
A Color, Textures and Shapes Thesaurus
A Weather & Earthly Phenomena Thesaurus
A Physical Attribute Thesaurus
A Character Traits Thesaurus
A Symbolism Thesaurus

But you may not have realized they have a new paperback book, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression [Paperback]

One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying a character’s emotions to the reader in a unique, compelling way. This book comes to the rescue by highlighting 75 emotions and listing the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each. Written in an easy-to-navigate list format, readers can draw inspiration from character cues that range in intensity to match any emotional moment. The Emotion Thesaurus also tackles common emotion-related writing problems and provides methods to overcome them. This writing tool encourages writers to show, not tell emotion and is a creative brainstorming resource for any fiction project.

Now I know they are selling a lot of books, but this is a reference tool every writer can use.  You will be helping yourself and helping two authors who have devoted their time to bringing you good helpful information.  Here is the link to Amazon.  Barnes and Noble.  You can also have it emailed to you for $4.99.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Kathy, thank you so much for this! It looks like their blog has a lot of useful stuff on it, too!

    Years ago I heard/read about a text book of sorts, for Psychology, that listed thousands (I think—can’t recall) character traits. It’s not to be found, that I can tell 😦


    • What a FANTASTIC idea!!! Many years ago, when I was writing and illustrating a concept picture book using alliterations I went so far as to go through my dictionary and page by page write down lists of emotional descriptive words in alphabetical order from A to Z for referral. This book hits the spot!! I will DEFINITELY be buying it. Thank you for sharing this, Kathy :o).

      Donna, could the book you’re thinking of be Power Versus Force??


  2. Thanks for sharing about this. It really is a helpful book and I love their blog. It’s always got such helpful info.


  3. I was lucky enough to win a copy – it is a great tool for writers.


  4. I receive the posts from Ms. Ackerman’s blog. It’s great help!


  5. Also available for the nook:


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