If you are a writer and you don’t have these three books: The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression, The Negative Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Flaws, and The Positive Trait Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Attributes all by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, I highly recommend that you get them.
I bought the Emotion Thesaurus almost a year ago and have been using it a lot. I keep it beside me as I write a novel, and I refer to it often. I bought The Negative Trait Thesaurus and The Positive Trait Thesaurus with Christmas money and I am so glad I did. They were my resources for helping to create the three main characters in my new WIP (work in progress).
If you find yourself overusing tags or struggling with how to “show” instead of “tell”, or are having problems creating characters with different personalities and having them express themselves appropriately for their personality, these books can lessen or take away the struggle.
The Negative and Positive Trait Thesaurus give you a personality trait with its definition, similar traits, the possible causes for that trait, behaviors associated with the trait, associated thoughts or emotions, positive and negative aspects, examples from film or literature, how your character can overcome a negative trait, traits in supporting characters that may cause conflict with this character, and challenging scenarios for a specific positive trait.
The Emotion Thesaurus gives you an emotion, its definition, physical signals that show that emotion, internal sensations caused by that emotion, mental responses to that emotion, cues of acute or long-term emotion with other things it could escalate to, as well as cues of suppressed emotion, and a writer’s tip.
I find these books helping me create richer, deeper characters, as well as better written stories that “show, don’t tell” what is going on in the story — stories that will draw my readers in.
What are some of your favorite writing resources? Please tell me in the comments, as I am always looking for great writing resources to learn from. I believe it’s important to never stop learning our craft.