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Emotional Temperament & Giveaway!

  Posted by Jemi , 04 June 2012 · 274 views

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You're in for a treat! Becca Puglisi is here today! She and her partner Angela Ackerman are the authors of the Fabulous resource - The Emotion Thesaurus!

Do you Know your Character’s EmotionalTemperament?

You’re fiddling with your WIP, focusing oncharacter emotion. Conveying it effectively is kind of hard, so you’ve got yourchecklist ready.

1. Strong visual cues to show emotion? Check.2. No melodrama? Check.
3. Fresh phrasings instead of clichés? Check.
4. Identifying my character’s emotional temperament so I know how he’llexpress emotion?


There’s more to writing emotion than correctmethodology. We have to intimately know our characters to determine theiremotional tendencies and portray their responses consistently. Personality iskey, but it’s not the only factor that determines a person’s emotional temperament. Someone with anoutgoing personality might be emotionally reserved. A reserved person mightchoose not to express their emotions, yet still feel them deeply and constantlystruggle to hide them.
Personality does factor in, but so do upbringingand environment, along with age, values, and past events. Put all this stufftogether, and you have your character’s emotional temperament, which determineshow they tend to react emotionally. Here are some notable examples:

Katniss Everdeen:Spare. If you look at scenes of hightension in The Hunger Games, Katniss is rarely responding emotionally. One ofher defining characteristics is practicality. Emotions aren’t practical, so shedoesn’t indulge in them often.

Anne of Green Gables: Demonstrative. AnneShirley is impulsive. As such, she doesn’t think about the appropriateness ofher emotions. She just reacts, in every situation.

Dally (the Outsiders): Hard. Dally’s ajuvenile delinquent with a tough exterior. The emotion he expresses almostalways has an edge: rage, derision, pride. Softer emotions, like sadness orworry, he tends to conceal.

Other Emotional Temperaments:

Emotion-Specific (choosing to express certainemotions and hide others)

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This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s agood starting point. When writing emotion, think about the factors thatcontribute to your character’s emotional temperament: personality,upbringing/environment, age, values, and past events. Putting them all togetherwill give you a good idea as to what kinds of situations will trigger aresponse, how big or small the response will be, and how likely your characteris to hide certain emotions.
Can you think of more factors that contribute toa person’s emotional temperament? And do you know any other temperaments weshould add to the list?

You can find Becca & Angela at their awesome blog - The Bookshelf Muse. here's purchasing information for the Emotion Thesaurus.

One lucky person is going to win a PDF copy of The Emotion Thesaurus! To enter, all you need to do is comment on this post and make sure you include your email address if it's not attached to your profile. That's it! I'll use Random.org to choose the winner and I'll announce the lucky person on my next post - (probably Wednesday for those of you who like to know deadlines :)) Good luck to everyone!


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