Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Book Review: The Emotion Thesaurus

Before I tell you about The Emotion Thesaurus, I have a magical moment to share. Our YA Fusion blog team is spread around the country, but Tracy Bilen lives near me. Which means I got to attend her book launch party for What She Left Behind!

Tracy Bilen What She Left BehindI've watched Tracy's book grow from a one chapter idea to the multi-layered story it has become. How wonderful to see the final published book, which she signed for me, of course. Go to Tracy's website to learn more about her upcoming events.

Now, on to my review of The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression.

I first discovered the Emotion Thesaurus as a feature on the popular and resourceful blog, The Bookshelf Muse. The authors, Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, also created a character-trait thesaurus, a weather thesaurus, a setting thesaurus, and more.

They've taken their emotion thesaurus to the next level by publishing a book-length guide. It's much more than a compilation of descriptive lists; the authors recognize that showing emotion is a tricky balancing act. They tackle the show-don't-tell mantra and provide specific examples of writing pitfalls such as clich├ęd emotions and melodrama.

Writing tips are interspersed throughout the book, such as “When describing a character’s feelings, the word “felt” is often a cue for telling emotion, not showing. Run a search for this word and challenge yourself on its use.”

The Emotion Thesaurus was designed as a launch for brainstorming. Use it by yourself or with critique groups. Read it straight through to absorb all the writing tips, or hop around to explore various emotions. Either way, you'll want to keep it within reach for the next time you’re struggling to describe a full emotional experience.

As a special gift accompanying their Random Acts of Kindness Blitz, the authors are providing a free download of Emotion Amplifiers: A Companion to the Emotion Thesaurus. Details here on their website.

On Tuesday, I'll be at the Literary Rambles blog for Tip Tuesday. Kish-kish, flumppf, kaaahhkkk! Stop by for my tip on writing sounds. Have you heard their great news? Literary Rambles made the Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers in the May/June issue. They're listed as number 13 under "Everything Agents."

While you're at Literary Rambles, read the interview with Elana Johnson and enter to win an ARC of her new novel, Surrender. Elana is a generous blogger who reaches out and supports other authors ALL THE TIME. Please stop by her blog, check out her books, and wish her well.

Happy writing!
Kristin Lenz


Becca Puglisi said...

Thanks for the awesome review of The Emotion Thesaurus, Kristen. This book was definitely a labor of love for us and we hope that the writers who read it find it useful.


Jennifer Rumberger said...

Fun post, Kristin! I hope to get a copy of the Emotion Thesaurus soon.

Angela Ackerman said...

Wow Kristin--I am so happy you're finding the ET useful. Thanks so much for the great review!


Natalie Aguirre said...

Wish I could have gone to Tracy's book signing. I've got the Emotion Thesaurus but haven't started it yet. Thanks for the great review and for shouting out about Literary Rambles and Elana Johnson.

Looking forward to your Tuesday Tip.

Rebecca B said...

The Emotion Thesaurus sounds like a wonderful tool--I need to get my hands on a copy. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

i really need to pick this book up! my characters are constantly sighing. come one - what kid sighs that much?! haha. thanks for the review!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I love the Emotion Thesaurus. It series rocks. I have What She Left Behind, but I haven't read it yet. It's near the top of my pile (my very long pile).

Jemi Fraser said...

I love the Emotion Thesaurus too :)

Saw your tip over at Literary Rambles today - love it!

Kristen Simmons said...

1. Awesome review of the Emotion Thesaurus, and kudos to Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi!

2. HUGE congrats to Natalie and Literary Rambles! That's amazing news! They have a great blog that has been so helpful to me over the years. I am delighted to hear this.

3. I am so jealous that you went to Tracy's launch party. You must tell me - was there a green Waldorf Astoria cake?

4. Thanks for the great post Kristin!

Katie McGarry said...

Thanks for telling us about The Emotion Thesaurus!