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The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Psychological Trauma

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4.72  ·  Rating details ·  401 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Readers connect to characters with depth, ones who have experienced life’s ups and downs. To deliver key players that are both realistic and compelling, writers must know them intimately—not only who they are in the present story, but also what made them that way. Of all the formative experiences in a character’s past, none are more destructive than emotional wounds. The ...more
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Published October 19th 2017 by Angela Ackerman
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Jennifer Lane
The Wounds That Shape and Strengthen Your Characters

As a psychologist, I work with individuals bravely striving to heal from emotional wounds. As an author, I hope to bring to life this authentic journey that I witness in the therapy room. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have provided a wonderful resource to translate the pain and trauma of the human experience into our fictional characters.

I sometimes grow frustrated when authors flub psychological concepts, but Angela and Becca nail it in
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Neuravinci
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is phenomenal. Not only does it provide pages of different emotional wounds and their elements, but it gives you psychological feel to all of them. I noted a number of wounds that I was already building up in a character I'm writing about, but this book has helped me think more deeply about the emotional trauma and the behavioral impacts it has.

Perfect reference guide, and will likely be one of my go-to books for every book I write, until I've memorized the pages by heart.

I can't
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Stacia
This book is an amazing resource for writers. The authors take a lot of time and care in defining emotional wounds, as well as explaining how this book is to be used. In short, it's not a book for diagnosis, and writers are cautioned to exercise self-care if any of entries are triggering.

Leafing through the pages, I immediately found specific ways in which I could strengthen characters in my WIP. Both protagonists and antagonists (as well as secondary characters) will benefit from the rich
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Christa Allan
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This latest thesaurus will join the others by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi as my absolute, can't do without, go-to writing resources. What separates this book from any others is not only the extensive list of wounds provided (childhood, betrays, injustice, traumatic, crime...), but the specific examples and detailed explanations. I also appreciate the flow charts that are included to help with working out how these wounds impact my characters.

An essential book for every writer's library.
Karen Sargent
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Emotional Wound Thesaurus gives writers a comprehensive understanding of the emotional web that entangles a wounded character. Understanding backstory, flaws, and needs allows us to develop multi-faceted characters with emotional depth as well as create an authentic sequence of actions and reactions as a character moves through our story. Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi continue to challenge us to elevate our craft by equipping us with a unique resource that makes a complex skill easier to ...more
Donna Weaver
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fabulous addition to this great writing resource series.
Roanne King
Because the fiction I write is based on my own past and overcoming emotional wounds, the discovery of The Emotional Wound Thesaurus was all the more important for me to learn to develop unique and layered female protagonists. Even though the conflict and themes of my current and future novels will somewhat reflect my own experiences, I also desire to write for and create relatable characters for women of all backgrounds.

I've heard the notion that parts of who we are as people are reflected in
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T.L. Cooper
Sep 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Emotional Would Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Psychological Trauma by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi lists a number of events that cause emotional wounds and provides a list of how those wounds affect one's psychological well-being and place in society. Acherman and Puglisi give insight into how to write characters who have been through a variety of traumatic situations. It's a reference book that any writer could find handy from time to time. While much more research might be ...more
Evette
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great resource for writers

This book provides so much more than just a list of traumas to throw at characters. As always, these authors are thoughtful and provide context and tips. There is also a nice blurb on self care at the beginning of the book.
Allison Collins
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every author wants readers to be pulled in to their books, to fall for their characters, to root for them to overcome obstacles and have their happy ever after. In order to do this, writers need to dig past the superficial to the baggage their characters carry around, to find out why they are the way they are, and what caused it. Hence, the creation of The Emotional Wound Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.

The Emotional Wound Thesaurus is hands-down my new favorite writing resource.
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J.C. Harroway
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this series of books and have them all in my reference library. The latest volume The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer's Guide to Psychological Trauma, is the best so far. Perfect for character driven stories, the Emotional Wound Thesaurus will help you brainstorm your characters past, their emotional conflict and what motivates their actions and behaviours.

The introductory pages—an excellent craft book in itself—explore the impact of an emotional wound on the character's personality,
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Carolyn Miller
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best writing resources I've come across! The Emotional Wound Thesaurus delves into the reasons why characters act the way they do, through exploring over a hundred different traumatic and challenging situations that shape people and give reason for the false beliefs they embrace and how this affects them and their relationships. If you write fiction, and you want to create authentic characters, then you need to read this book.
Wendy Wanner
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Extremely helpful
Katia M. Davis
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where did I find this book? I purchased it from the Kobo store online.

Why did I purchase this book? I bought this along with a couple of other Writers Helping Writers guides. I read it first because it will help with the backstory and motivation for a main character I am currently writing.

Layout and should the book be read in a particular way? Aside from the introductory section, this book doesn’t have to be read straight through. There may even be parts of it you will never need or don’t want
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Traci
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book Talk…10/27/17
Traci Kenworth

The Emotional Wound Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Psychological Trauma by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi. Oct. 25th 2017. I received an arc for review.

I was approached by a team of writers whose thesaurus works and website have been an amazing plus to my writing to do a review of their newest tool for writers. As I’ve learned, plot isn’t just about theme or an idea. It’s about complications, the more you can dig down deep into the character the better. So, let
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Jordan Lynch
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All writers can use some help from time to time, and I myself find I need most help when it comes to building characters that aren’t like me. Since my life experience is usually at least somewhat different from my characters, I don’t have my own thoughts and memories to fall back on, so some research is required to build a realistic and accurate character. I’ve found that all of Angela and Becca’s thesauruses provide a wealth of information for building a story from the ground up, and the ...more
Elle
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Emotional Wound Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi is a fantastic edition to their growing series of help books for writers. The Emotional Wound Thesaurus collects and categories 121 different emotional wounds or traumatic situations. It analyses why people or characters might have these wounds, various ways they can manifest in actions/behaviour, both positive and negative personality traits that may form as a result, situations that could trigger someone who had suffered this ...more
A. M. Kimber
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
I got so lucky being chosen to read and review an advanced copy and all I have to say to the authors Ackerman & Puglisi is THANK YOU! Thank you for having the foresight to write this series and thank you for adding this book, EMOTIONAL WOUND THESAURUS, to the series.

Okay, enough of the sappy stuff, on to the review... umm, it’s great. The end. No really, if you’re a writer and have difficulty adding description and a richness to your writing because you tend to write short (ex. She was
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Dorothy Davis
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm going to be 100% honest when I say this: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE BECCA'S AND ANGELA'S THESUARI!!!!! I am a proud owner of four of the six paid Thesauri and I most certainly DO NOT regret it in the least bit. The purpose of The Emotional Wound Thesaurus is to give an explanation of what said Wound is as well as giving an endless number of examples of what could happen, possible fears, wants or needs, cause and effect, so on and so forth. What's worse is that a lot of these still happen to this very ...more
Willow Woodford
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well, our characters, the best ones, have deep emotional wounds that drive their behavior. Those wounds drive their psychological responses to everything they encounter. As good authors we need to understand those wounds and how they manifest in our characters daily lives. The Emotional Wound Thesaurus provides a great starting point for me to begin to understand my character, in both the development and the writing phase.

Each possible wound is broken down, first into how it might have happened.
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Sacha Black
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What sets this apart from other writing craft books is the way it gets to the core of humanity's psychology. If you want to understand a character, like truly, deeply and fundamentally know what pushes your protagonists to save the world time and time again, this is the book for you. But the magic of it is that it won't just teach you about characters, it will teach you about people too.

This book is so many things: writing mentor and tutor, an encyclopedia of human psychology, inspiration
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Julie Hiner
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are a writer, you NEED to read this book. It was SO helpful that I am reading it a second time.

Angela and Becca absolutely nailed this one on the head!!! I found this book really smooth to navigate. The descriptions and examples really solidified my understanding of what was important and how to achieve it. This book has made a tremendous difference in my ability to really get to know my characters, and has enabled me to write from each of their perspectives with a much deeper
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Julie Hiner
Mar 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you are a writer, you NEED to read this book. It was SO helpful that I am reading it a second time.

Angela and Becca absolutely nailed this one on the head!!! I found this book really smooth to navigate. The descriptions and examples really solidified my understanding of what was important and how to achieve it. This book has made a tremendous difference in my ability to really get to know my characters, and has enabled me to write from each of their perspectives with a much deeper
...more
Samara Parish
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got this book simply because all of the authors' other books have been amazing, so I bought this without questioning what might be in it. OMG. Seriously. I was struggling with my character's GMC for awhile, and this book helped so much. My only regret is that I have an e-book edition. I want the paperback so that I can go to town on it with my highlighter and post-it notes.

What I particularly liked, is that though many of the emotional wounds in this book are modern day life-based, it still
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Bertjj
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, a value add for the readers of The Emotional Wound Thesaurus is free THERAPY! While using this guide to give my characters more dimension, I recognized some of my own behaviors and was able to link them back to emotional wounds from my past and use the information provided for some needed self-awareness and self-compassion.
But, back to intended purpose of this guide - the comprehensive scenarios (from common to extreme) will help authors define and reveal characters through the provided
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Patti Nielson
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have done it again. Their newest addition to their growing library of Thesaurus books does not disappoint. The Emotional Would Thesaurus is not an ordinary list of words or synonyms, but an in-depth review of emotional wounds that will help shape your characters. Whether you’re exploring their past or what motivates their actions and behaviors, this book will help immensely.

Each wound offers detailed descriptions from what a character would have gone through to
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Timothy Bateson
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another fantastic resource for writers

This team of authors keep knocking it out of the park. This book just adds to an amazing series of resources for writers, which dive into aspects of world building and character creation.
In this book, the authors break down how various traumatic events can affect the development of personalities. The authors admit that they’re not trained psychologists, but the depth and breadth of their research definitely shows. What comes out as a result of that research
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Talena Winters
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: authors, writers, playwrights,
Becca and Angela have done it again--they have dove deep, way below the surface, on a topic vital to the believability of any character, and relayed the ins and outs of how emotional wounds could potentially shape that character in a way that writers can easily access. Their opening material is a a masterclass in character development, with examples of how wounds can shape a character's beliefs, personality, and actions.

Every writer should have a copy of this book. This will be my new go-to when
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Charlene Sponsel
Great characters are layered (like onions ;)
The thesauruses are a fantastic resource to achieving great characters. The appendices offer invaluable teaching tools and where better to start than the wound that created who the character became. Even when my readers don't need to know, I still must understand what traits and behaviors it would cause. It is the key to believable characters.
I couldn't wait to own this. It will save me endless hours of research. The entries I'd previously researched
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Lilith Darville
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: writing
A must for your research chest!

What Lilith Liked: The level of detail provided for each emotional wound. Angela and Becca invite us to look beyond the obvious as they explore the basic needs often compromised by each wound and the false beliefs that could be embraced. Tons of great writing fodder!

What Lilith Didn't Like: Not a blessed things. It's in-depth and well researched.

Lilith's Favorite Quote: "When emotional shielding goes up,k these traits are replaced by others (flaws) that will do a
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ANGELA ACKERMAN is a writing coach, international speaker, and co-author of 7 bestselling books for writers, including The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression (now an expanded 2nd Edition). Her books are available in six languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world.

Angela is also the
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