You have to show emotions, but which one fits which scene with which character? We all want to know.
Try this Emotion Chart From I Love Charts
What's not to like about this chart? There are six main categories of emotions--disgust, sad, happy, surprise, fear, anger--in the center. Each is then broken up into four to five more definitive levels and then again in to two more. For example, take sad. Level two includes guilty, abandoned, despair, depressed, lonely, bored. For level three of depressed, the chart includes inferior and empty. I could spend hours with this nifty little chart. ;-)
But then, I have to figure out how to show the specific emotion my character is feeling. What body language and internal feelings will it take.
So, I turn to this next item on my list. Have you tried THE EMOTION THESAURUS by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi?
From the Amazon description: One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying a character's
emotions to the reader in a unique, compelling way. This book comes to
the rescue by exploring seventy-five emotions and listing the possible
body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each.
its easy-to-navigate list format, readers can draw inspiration from
character cues that range in intensity to match any emotional moment,
including situations where a character is trying to hide their feelings
from others. The Emotion Thesaurus also tackles common emotion-related
writing problems and provides methods to overcome them.
This writing tool encourages writers to show, not tell emotion and is a creative brainstorming resource for any fiction project.
The book breaks down over seventy emotions into Physical Signals, Internal Sensations, Mental Responses, Cues for Acute of Long-Term, and Cues for Suppressed emotion. Sometimes I disagree with the suggestions, but at least it gets me thinking. ;-)
Do you have a nifty helper to suggest for finding the right emotion for a character? Or for refining the actions that show an emotion? If so, please share! And get emotional...well, let your characters get emotional. ;-)