The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression by Puglisi Becca & Ackerman Angela


The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression by Puglisi Becca & Ackerman Angela

Author:Puglisi, Becca & Ackerman, Angela [Ackerman, Angela]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Published: 2012-05-08T21:00:00+00:00


GUILT

DEFINITION: a feeling of culpability over an offense (either real or imagined)

PHYSICAL SIGNALS:

Averting or lowering one’s gaze

Turning away

Shifting about

Chin dipping to the chest, adopting a slumped posture

Blushing

Reacting defensively

Short-temperedness

Consuming antacids

Repetitive swallowing

Lying

Sweating

Grimacing

Lip biting

Avoiding a person or place

Talking too much or too fast

Keeping at a distance

Rubbing the nose or ears

Shoulders drawing up, elbows tucking into the sides

Closing or curling one’s hands inward

Stuttering, growing flustered

Joking to lighten the mood or distract others from the truth

Seeking comfort by touching one’s own hair, neck, or clothing

Pinning the arms against the stomach

Becoming unnaturally quiet or still

A quivering chin

Muttering tearfully to oneself

Anxious movements (pawing a hand through the hair, pacing)

A cracking voice

Pulling at one’s collar

Taking a deep, pained breath and closing the eyes

Staring down at one’s feet

Palms hidden (stuffed into pockets, held behind the back)

Darting glances at the person wronged

Following the one wronged, trying to convince oneself to confess

Inflicting pain on oneself as a penance

Destroying one’s own possessions

An inability to join in fun activities or be with friends

Looking pale, having a harried or haunted look

Not showing up for work or school, letting grades slip

INTERNAL SENSATIONS:

Upset stomach

Tight chest

Pain in the back of the throat

Loss of appetite

Thickness in the throat

MENTAL RESPONSES:

Replaying what happened

Anxiety

Thoughts filled with self-loathing

Wishing one could go back and change what happened

Desiring to confess or share the pain or burden with another

Brooding, retreating inward, withdrawing from others

Paranoia that others know and are passing judgment

An inability to concentrate on anything else

CUES OF ACUTE OR LONG-TERM GUILT:

A lack of interest in one’s own appearance or wellness

Drinking until passing out (to forget)

Insomnia

Depression

Exhaustion

Nightmares

Drug use

Crying, sobbing, hitching breaths

Flight response—running away, unable to deal with the consequences

Growing reclusive, cutting oneself off from others

Self-mutilation

Self-loathing

Attempting suicide as a way out

MAY ESCALATE TO: CONFLICTED, REGRET, SHAME, REMORSE

CUES OF SUPPRESSED GUILT:

Becoming excessively resourceful or helpful to make up for earlier failure

Fidgeting

Hiding one’s mouth behind a hand

Changing the subject

Deflecting attention

Throat clearing

Verbally denying having anything to do with the event

Return to the Table of Contents

WRITER’S TIP: Character bibles can help you keep track of hair, eye and clothing choices for each character, keeping the continuity from the first page to the last.



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