[Book Review] The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman

The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character ExpressionThe Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a reference book, for the times you need to look up–not synonyms but descriptions, ways you can write to show your character’s emotions. Pretty fancy, huh. Each entry (emotion) has several descriptions that are divided into Physical Signals, Internal Sensations, Mental Responses, Cues of Acute (Insert Emotion Here) and Cues of Suppressed (Insert Emotion Here).

If you are: an observant person and/or reader (and have been reading for pleasure since you were a child), have taken a beginner’s literature or an English class as a freshman in university, or even a Cross-Cultural communications class, you won’t learn anything new from this.

If you are: trying to write your very first story or fanfiction, an unobservant person and/or reader (or someone who doesn’t like reading but needs to learn how to write), a “but English is not my first language!!!” kind of person, a “but I don’t understand that example, EXPLAIN THIS SHOW AND TELL THING TO ME.” person, you will learn a lot from this book (especially the first few pages wherein the different ways for portraying emotions in writing are explained). The concepts are laid out with examples and are written in a very simple way that even the youngest writers can understand.

(Two stars because Goodreads has a rating system of personal preference instead of an objective one. I don’t see myself using this now and I didn’t learn anything new from it, nothing that hadn’t already been observed from years of reading and further explained in Introductory English and Literature classes in university. I only picked this up because I’m doing NaNo this year and I thought I’d learn something new from this–I was mistaken. The book is a good idea though, would’ve helped me tons when I was eleven and writing my first fanfic… πŸ˜› Anyway, objectively, I’d have given this a 3.75 out of 5, for the reasons stated in the third paragraph.)


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