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!
I'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 clichéd 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.