I recently came across this book and I have given it to a few author friends to their extreme enjoyment. I recommend it for those who want to expand their description of emotions on their written page: The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression.

Here is some information for you from the book:

“…while it may seem that most exchanges happen through conversation, in truth up to 95% of all communication is nonverbal. Even in instances where we try not to show our feelings, we are still sending messages through body language.”

“As writers, we must take our innate skills of observation and transfer them to the page. Readers have high expectations. They don’t want to be told how a character feels, they want to experience the emotion for themselves. To make this happen, we must ensure that our characters express their emotions in ways that are both recognizable and compelling to read.”

Another one:

“It is easy to see the power of emotion and how it connects a reader to the story and characters. The difficulty comes in writing it well. Each scene must achieve a balance between showing too little feeling and showing too much. Above all, the emotional description needs to be fresh and engaging. This is a tall order for writers who tend to reuse the same emotional indicators over and over.”

One more:

“All successful novels, no matter what genre, have one thing in common: emotion. It lies at the core of every character’s decision, action, and word, all of which drive the story. Without emotion, a character’s personal journey is pointless. Stakes cease to exist. The plot line becomes a dry riverbed of meaningless events that no reader will take time to read. Why? Because above all else, readers pick up a book to have an emotional experience. They read to connect with characters who provide entertainment and whose trials may add meaning to their own life journeys.”

So, check it out: The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression.