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Emotion Amplifiers

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When writing fictional characters, it’s hugely important to convey their emotions effectively so readers will be drawn in and become invested in those characters. The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression was written to help writers convey the quality and depth of their characters’ feelings through their thoughts, body language, and visceral reactions. But there are also ways to amplify what a character is feeling, thereby heightening their emotional responses.

In Emotion Amplifiers, a companion guide to The Emotion Thesaurus, we explore 15 common states that naturally galvanize emotion. States like exhaustion, boredom, illness, pain, and extreme hunger can push characters to the limit, compromising their decision-making abilities and decreasing the likelihood of them reaching their goals. Emotion Amplifiers is a great tool for any writer wishing to tighten the screws on their characters and amp up the tension in their stories.

72 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 4, 2014

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About the author

Angela Ackerman

13 books957 followers
ANGELA ACKERMAN is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of 11 bestselling books for writers, including The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression. Her books are available in 10 languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. Her home country is Canada.

Angela is also the co-founder of the popular site Writers Helping Writers®, as well as One Stop for Writers®, a portal to powerful tools and resources that help you think like a writing expert so you become a stronger storyteller. A strong believer in writers helping and supporting other writers, she tries to pay-it-forward however she is able to.


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Displaying 1 - 29 of 126 reviews
Profile Image for Lexie.
218 reviews196 followers
December 2, 2015
Nothing says NaNoWriMo is over quite like a hungry consumption of one million books on writing craft. (Whether it's a literal or figurative consumption depends entirely on how deeply the novel-writing has unhinged us during November.)

This is a companion guide to The Emotional Thesaurus and the Positive and Negative Emotion guides by the same pair of authors. What I love about these (rather encyclopedic) guides is that they make us aware of emotions apart from hysteria, stress, hunger and desperation - all of which go into a NaNo Novelist, a special smoothie blend authors seem to ingest via osmosis while penning their novels. By divvying up each emotion into its outward and inward physical manifestations, their emotional responses, situational triggers and a myriad of other things, they (a) remind us of just how many facets emotions have, and (b) of many different ways of showing them without having to convince the reader through telling.

And easily the best part about this guide is a reminder at the end of each Emotional Amplifier about potential traps they contain and ways to circumvent them. If determined to write about addiction and being unfamiliar with it, talk to someone with experience in the area. If showing physical manifestations of stress in a character's behavior, make sure there's an underlying psychological or physical cause behind it. It goes without saying, you'd think.

You'd think.

But for every warning, I can point you to a pile of books which fell into that trap anyway. I'm pretty sure, in fact, that we all could. So let's not groan in frustration at it while reading only to repeat it while writing. Yes, please, and thank you.

(Also, this is currently free on Amazon which, in my experience, can be a real selling point.)

(I hereby apologize to the world of free ebooks for that pun. It'll never happen again.)
Profile Image for K.M. Weiland.
Author 25 books2,249 followers
September 8, 2015
This is such a jolly little addition to the wonderful Emotion Thesaurus--and I can't believe it's free! In very much the same vein as the main book, it offers up emotional and physical states of being that "amplify" emotions. It's a great tool for writers who are looking for catalysts to drive characters into severe emotional states. It's true, as some reviewers say, that it's very short. But it honestly doesn't need to be any longer. It does its job as a great companion to the main book--and, hey, it's free!
Profile Image for Amanda Tero.
Author 24 books522 followers
October 30, 2016
I haven't read "The Emotions Thesaurus" but found this book to be extremely helpful! Though the first section was short, it was packed with useful information that helped me on the novel I'm writing. I skimmed through the latter half which gave lists of how to describe various emotions. I'll likely return during edit time ... and am intrigued to purchase the thesaurus.
Profile Image for Kim BookJunkie ~ Editor & Proofreader.
1,874 reviews56 followers
September 21, 2022
This book is just as fabulous and valuable as its predecessor, The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Character Expression, yet it contains only a fraction of the information. What it does contain is valuable information, there’s just not a lot of it. I feel like every editor and author should own a copy of The Emotion Thesaurus, but this one is just a bonus, not a must have.
Profile Image for Elle Mitchell.
Author 13 books42 followers
February 13, 2018
Wow, wow, wow!
Sure, some of these things are obvious, but some of them aren't so much. More importantly, it's a collection that is easy to reach to if you have brain fog. I have fibromyalgia and that comes with the territory. So, this is wonderful when my brain is reaching for that one thing that has to do with boredom (it may be common sense, it may not).
Even when my brain is cooperating, it's nice to have a list of things that keep you from drawing from your own bank over and over again. Sometimes you just need a shake up.
Profile Image for Jennifer Price.
Author 3 books1 follower
May 27, 2016
This is a great resource for writers. Although I do wish it was longer. It's kinda like a writers emotion dictionary/thesaurus/examples all in one. It really helps understand your characters a little better and portray what their feeling without saying "Kyle is distracted" or "Paula was feeling stressed" I found it extremely helpful.
I gave it 4 out of 5 stars simply because I wanted more words. It only gave me 15 lol
but then again I guess that's why I went ahead and ordered the other 3 that she has.
Profile Image for G.G..
Author 4 books237 followers
October 25, 2016
Great addition to The Emotion Thesaurus. I haven't used it yet but I checked it out from page 1 to the end and loved what I saw.
Profile Image for Maida.
Author 13 books438 followers
June 23, 2019
Nice add-on to The Emotion Thesaurus. The first one is still my go-to resource, but this has some new emotions that makes it worthwhile to get.
Profile Image for Erika Hayes.
361 reviews3 followers
December 6, 2017
10/10 Ackerman does it again

Love it! Awesome just like everything I have read in this group of books. Love them all! 10/10 would recommend.
Profile Image for Patricia Bates.
Author 30 books21 followers
January 7, 2022
This book gives an author a better grasp of emotional reactions and makes it easier to show a character's reactions and more when writing. Its a must have for anyone who wants to write emotionally developed and engaging characters. This is one of a series and I believe the entire series should be in every author's collection.
Profile Image for Allan Walsh.
Author 16 books72 followers
May 22, 2016
Emotion Amplifiers by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi is really a reference book for authors to assist them with their writing. It is a companion to The Emotional Thesaurus which I have not read at this time, but based on this companion, I am interested in getting myself a copy.

The Bad Stuff: I know this is only a companion, but the book is very short and there are only about 14 pages of narrative to guide the reader on the use of the contents. The remainder of the book is reference material and I feel the book could have been fleshed out with both more narrative from the author and more reference material.

The good stuff: This book is a great idea and could be very useful to a writer who wants to develop their characters and/or their story in the spectrum of the emotional amplifiers explored. If it just had more reference material on a broader range of emotions, it would be a worthy addition to any writer's toolbox. My guess is that the content I would like to see in this companion book has already been captured in the authors other work, The Emotional Thesaurus. I hope to find out soon enough.

In my opinion, this book will be a good guide to assist with writing, if only it had more content it could have been an amazing reference tool. I’m giving it 3 out of 5 golden bookmarks.
Profile Image for Dianna Winget.
Author 9 books106 followers
May 9, 2015
I really enjoy the whole series of Emotion Theasurus titles, and Emotion Amplifiers is no exception. These aren't necessarily the type of books you just pick up and read straight through, but rather the type you refer back to time and time again. I find them the most helpful when I'm doing final revisions on a new novel.
Profile Image for D.G. Kaye.
Author 9 books120 followers
January 15, 2015
This is a handy little guide for writers looking to amplify character emotions in their writing. The book offers different ideas to emphasize stressors, sensations and responses of emotional states, helping to convey emotion by showing character's feelings.
Profile Image for Tina.
788 reviews
December 13, 2020
I'm currently on the first draft of my novel, and I can't recommend this book (as well as the other books in this series) enough! It has been extremely helpful and it was only 99c on Kindle! I'd recommend it even if you aren't currently writing a book--you never know what might inspire you!
Profile Image for Ezekiel.
Author 1 book6 followers
June 21, 2018
This book is an indispensable reference guide for me in my daily writing life.

As a writer, showing and not telling is a huge issue and this book aids me in that aspect. From describing how people show emotion, to what goes on internally when personally experiencing an emotion, and to what is experienced when the emotion is suppressed, this book covers it all.

Now I've seen several reviews knocking this book for being obvious, but sometimes you're in the heat of writing battle and the feeling you want to express in that moment escapes you or gets stuck in your craw and won't come out. You need that perfect description for your character's present experience. This book, if it doesn't have it, will at least get you in the ballpark.

Maybe you don't want to be obvious with showing the emotion you want to depict? Well, I learned a good way to do that is to show secondary and tertiary levels of emotion. For instance, you want to show your character is angry. Maybe you feel going straight to anger is too obvious. How about showing the fear that leads to the character's anger? That's secondary emotion. But what if you don't know what anger's secondary emotions are? The book has suggestions that help you get there.

Of course you should be developing your brain to the point where its able to generate emotional descriptors on its own. But who has the time? So unless your mind is so quick that you have emotional descriptors just coming out of your ears, I believe this reference is definitely worth your while to have on hand until you become an emotional descriptor expert.
40 reviews
September 2, 2020
She has collected words that describe physical states -- thirst, cold, etc. and shows how these states can evoke an emotional experience for the reader. The amplifiers are 15 states that also make a character more volatile by increasing the stress level e.g. thirst becomes dehydration. Experiencing the emotion in turn evokes reader's memories, and most important tension.
I suppose this book could be used if you are writing a story and need to increase the tension in a chapter.
Conceivably this book could stimulate one's creativity in the proper direction if you're stuck. However, I found the list of words and descriptions is very limited, and mostly negative, so they didn't fit what I was writing at the time.
There's a plug or two embedded in this short book for another book: Emotions Thesaurus by the same offer.
Profile Image for D.A. Henneman.
Author 11 books53 followers
May 13, 2018
A wonderful companion to the Emotion Thesaurus! Set up just like the other books in this series, it lists the emotion, provides a definition along with physical signals, internal sensations, and mental responses. The further cues listed for each of the emotions are extremely helpful as prompts, especially when developing a new character.

Knowing why a character is doing something isn't always revealed to the reader but, in my opinion, needs to be understood by the writer at all times. I can see where this book will be extremely helpful when building future characters and providing them with a backstory that supports their motivations. What an amazing addition to my writer's toolbox!
Profile Image for Timothy Bateson.
Author 4 books56 followers
September 28, 2017
Another great companion for writers

Writers always hear the words, “show don’t tell”, and that is exactly where this series of books comes in handy.
“Emotion Amplifiers” takes the description of emotional moments to a whole new level. With a wide range of physical symptoms, descriptors, and more, you’ll never find yourself hunting for a way to show the characters emotional state. Instead of telling the reader how the character feels, they’ll be reading the effects that emotional state is producing, and build a stronger relationship with the character in the process...
Profile Image for Donald Standeford.
Author 15 books1 follower
November 24, 2018
Great source information for exhausted readers

I own all Angela Acerman reference books. These books are easy to use for study of setting, characters, and objects useful in any type of writing. It's like having a data base of solid concrete places, people and things ready for you to tap into when you feel your study of these things has gotten you as far as it can take you. Or, these books can be used to get some quick details for a light sketch of an area or character needed in a pinch
Profile Image for Jenness Jordan.
54 reviews8 followers
May 19, 2019

I read this book to help me enhance my characters which will add more depth and credibility to the story. With that said, I found this book to be helpful outside of the writing world too.
I found pieces of myself within the pages. There are ways to see others on the inside. These authors did a wonderful job with this resource. It can be a tool for more than just writers, therapists, those seeking to become therapists, counselors, doctors, nurses, and such.
I am excited to read and utilize these authors other tools.
Profile Image for Linda Berry.
Author 7 books239 followers
March 2, 2017
As an addition to Emotion Amplifiers, I find this book useful as a helpful tool in my writing arsenal. No book can elevate a writer to a whole new category of excellence, but this book is helpful when I just want to jar some fresh ideas loose. Helps me get out of a stuck place when trying to imagine ways to describe characters without resorting to tired and worn out cliches. Linda Berry is the author of Hidden Part One and Pretty Corpse.
Displaying 1 - 29 of 126 reviews

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