Emotion Thesaurus, Second Edition

I’ve been using the original Emotion Thesaurus for a year. My critique partners recommended it when they got tired of trying to explain how to add emotion to my story. And they were right; it’s a great resource anytime I think, “Now, how can I show what my characters are feeling? How can I make my reader feel their emotions?”

So when I scored an Advance Reader Copy of the second edition, I was intrigued and excited. What would the difference be? Would the authors add new emotions? Would there be other changes?

Yes, there are new emotions. Yes, there are other changes. And they’re great!

Besides the old sections of effectively mixing verbal, physical, and thoughts, and a reminder about moderation, there is now an intro section on baseline behavior and personalities, to remind you that different characters will respond differently to the same events, depending on their inherent traits. There’s a section on speech patterns, so your characters don’t all sound alike. There’s a section on subtext that I desperately needed…

Within the emotion entries, there used to be a “Could escalate to” reference that is still there but expanded. Now there is also a “Could de-escalate to” reference that would have made my life a lot easier if it had been in the first edition. Another new section in each emotion entry is a list of associated power verbs. Yes! Now I don’t have to strain my brain trying to think of action verbs to fit the emotion, because the authors have already done the hard work for me! I’m so excited. You might have noticed…

A few of the old emotions have been split to differentiate between subtly different feelings. Some definitions have been improved. A lot of new emotions have been added. I won’t list them all, but some of my favorites include:

  • appall
  • apprehension
  • betrayed
  • certainty
  • despair
  • devastation
  • discouraged
  • grief
  • homesick
  • horror
  • hysteria
  • moved
  • obsessed
  • pleased
  • powerlessness
  • self-pity
  • shock
  • stunned
  • unappreciated
  • validated
  • valued
  • vengeful
  • vulnerable
  • wanderlust
  • wistful

For several of those, I sighed. Why didn’t I have those when I was writing my last book? At least I have them for my works-in-progress. *rub hands together with glee*

Thanks, Angela & Becky, for making my stories better and my writing easier. And thanks for the sneak peek.

Now, all you writers out there, I’m not going to tell you to buy the book, but if you struggle with expressing emotion on the page, or if your readers say they don’t FEEL it, maybe this would be a good tool for you. It is for me.

For more information about The Emotion Thesaurus, go here.
M. C. Lee

© 2019 M. C. Lee LLC. All rights reserved.

Author: MCLeeBooks

Marty C. Lee told stories for most of her life, but never took them seriously until her daughter asked her to write the first in the Unexpected Heroes series. Between writing and spending time with her family, she reads, embroiders, and gardens. Her characters take over her brain on a regular basis. If you catch her muttering to thin air, she's probably arguing with one of her characters. She has learned to keep a notebook by her bed to jot down ideas so she can go to sleep and deal with them in the morning.

One thought on “Emotion Thesaurus, Second Edition”

  1. M.C., it is great to get the perspective of someone newer to this book, and to see how the differences between the two will really help you–I am so glad! Thanks for breaking down the important areas you find helpful in the new edition. I hope everyone is just as happy with this expanded volume!

    Really appreciate you reviewing and all the kind words! Happy writing–here’s to many more emotion-stuffed books!


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