REVIEW: The Emotion Thesaurus, Second Edition

To anyone new to the Thesaurus Collections created by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi, the dream duo at Writers Helping Writers, opening their new second edition of the Emotion Thesaurus not to thesaurus entries but to extensive descriptions and examples of descriptor usage might be a bit confusing. But make no mistake: The Emotion Thesaurus is a full-service manual, offering not only suggestions for emotions, but also the means to employ those suggestions.

I received an early-release copy of this new edition of the Emotion Thesaurus in order to post an honest review. And as many of you might remember, I had the honor to write a guest post for Writers Helping Writers back in October. I’ve long admired Angela and Becca’s work, so my expectations were very high, to say the least.

This new edition did not disappoint. It includes significantly more entries than the first edition (for a total of 130), and all of the original emotions have been expanded upon. My favorite part of the book, though, is the preliminary part, where the use of emotions is explained ahead of the emotions themselves being described.

As an editor, I can testify to how many writers (including myself, I'll admit) take exposition for granted. We choose to explain a character's reaction-- for example, "Gabriel was incensed." But this robs the reader of their experience within the story. Paint a picture instead! Illustrate the character's reactions and mannerisms--and The Emotion Thesaurus breaks down just how to do that, piece by piece.

The entries themselves are thorough and thought-provoking, and the broad selection is sure to cover your needs. The writing is clear and accessible for writers of all levels, and, paired with the advice at the beginning of the book, is easy to put into practice for any genre and writing style.


The Emotion Thesaurus is now available for preorder, and will be available on February 19th. You can find links and more details on this and other books in the series at Writers Helping Writers.