Friday, June 19, 2015

Book Review, Emotions in the Wild

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When I first heard about this book, I was struck by how much I wanted it. How it filled a need I didn’t even know I had.

As any writer knows, one of the most difficult things to communicate is the emotion of a character. How can you communicate a character’s feelings subtly yet distinctly? In other words, how do you show these emotions to your reader without telling them? And how can you do so without using clichés?

Ms. Garver’s book Emotions in the Wild is a guided journal that shows writers how to use the power of observation in their everyday lives to create an “emotions bible” to guide them in crafting a unique reference book for their writing, a personal source book for help in describing what an emotion (anger, jealousy, etc.) looks like, sounds like, and even how it might be provoked.

The book begins with an introduction explaining how to use the journal. The rest of the book is divided into emotion chapters—a total of 39 different emotions are given for examination. Each chapter includes pithy quotations from famous individuals to stimulate thought about the emotion. Following the quotes are sections where the writer records observations on the particular emotion’s “Common Triggers,” “Facial Expressions,” “Postures and Movements,” “Range of Reactions Observed,” and “Related Words, Idioms, and Phrases.”

In the past when I’ve been stumped with how to describe or explain something, I’ve often used Roget’s “Concept Index,” but now I’m looking forward to incorporating this journal into my life and watching it bear fruit in my writing. Five Stars! Click here to buy it.

Me and my copy.

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