This quote gives me LIFE. I am such a rewriter; my guilt has washed away because of you, Judy Blume.
I’m totally not fact checking this quote, either. If it’s not true, I do not want to know.
Anyways! Writing is hard. Really hard. Dialogue, imagery, plot, typing, staying awake, remembering to eat- hard.
BUT! I saw an author, Emma Hart, post a photo of her desk and there was this book next to her keyboard titled ‘The Emotion Thesaurus“. Immediately bought it. And so glad I did.
Here’s a little tip from inside these magical pages: “When revising, look for instances where emotions are NAMED. Nine times out of ten this indication is a lack of confidence that the emotion is shown clearly through thought, sensations and body language. Strong verbal cues negate the need to “explain” the emotion to the reader.”
So true, Magical Thesaurus. So. True.
Basically, when your characters about to feel something, you go to the table of contents and click on that feeling, then up will pop physical signals, internal sensations and mental responses of that emotion.
Example: I’m feeling TERROR.
Physical Signs: Rasping breaths, bulging eyes, full body tremors.
Internal Sensations: Sound of a heart thrashing in your ears, pain in the chest, increased strength or stamina, clenched jaw.
Mental Responses: A compulsion to look back, risk taking, hyper-vigilance.
I’m not a naturally eloquent writer, so this book has literally saved me. Maybe one day i’ll dish out lines like “a wry grin twisted up at the thought.” But today is not that day.