Describing Emotions - A #WriteTip from Sofia Grey ( @SofiaGreyAuthor )

I mentioned bringing the inimitable Sofia Grey back to give me a writing tip not so long ago. The day has come, and I can't help but wish I'd put this up before I spent the better part of last week wrestling with content edits. You wouldn't believe how many little comment bubbles from my editor had "telling not showing" on them, and a good portion were related to describing emotion. 

So without further ado, here's some sage advice from someone whose been a writer for much longer than I. 

Describing Emotion by Sofia Grey

The one reference book I come back to, time and time again, is The Emotion Thesaurus. At $5, it's one of my best buys. It details, for every major emotion, the physical & mental aspects of how it feels.

Let's say you're writing a scene where the heroine is agitated. You can look up AGITATION, and it suggests physical signals (e.g. avoiding eye contact / wavering voice and many more), internal sensations (excessive saliva / feeling overheated), mental responses (anger at oneself), and then it goes on to Cues of Acute Agitation - and what it may escalate to (e.g. annoyance / frustration).

So why is this so good? It's easy to fall back on the same words and descriptions in our writing, and this, like any thesaurus, can help to broaden the way we show things. 


I'm giving away a $10 Amazon gift card and a swag bundle to one lucky commenter. Comment at whichever site you visit on my blog tour, & you’ll go into the draw. The more sites you visit, the more chances you get to win. 


Romance author Sofia Grey spends her days managing projects in the corporate world and her nights hanging out with wolf shifters and alpha males. She devours pretty much anything in the fiction line, but she prefers her romances to be hot, and her heroes to have hidden depths. When writing, she enjoys peeling back the layers to expose her characters’ flaws and always makes them work hard for their happy endings.

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Lila’s Wolf
(Out of Time #1)

by Sofia Grey

The only way to save him, might be to leave him behind

When Lila Cammell is abandoned by her time-jump partner, leaving her alone in Britain in the Dark Ages, revenge is the only thing on her mind. She’d trusted Jared Grohl with her life and her heart, and bringing him to justice will be sweet.

Finding him captured and enslaved by the Saxons changes all her assumptions. Now it’s a fight for survival, but the only way to save him, might be to leave him behind.

Buy LinksAmazon | AllRomance B&N | Goodreads | Hartwood Publishing

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Marc returned an hour later, tapping quietly on the door in the signal we’d established. Two swift knocks. Pause. One more. Pause. Then another two. I threw back the bolt and practically fell upon him, needing the comfort of another person. Needing his touch. He gave a short, pleased laugh and pulled me firmly into his arms, while sliding the bolt back into place.

“It’s okay. They didn’t see me.” He draped one arm around my waist, the other across my shoulders. I felt his fingers stroking my neck and I buried my face against his throat. The intimate embrace felt strangely comfortable and it was a long moment before I realized Marc seemed equally happy with this. He dropped a soft kiss on my hair. “Lila, we need to talk.”

I snapped back to attention and wriggled free. “He was here.” My voice came out as a whisper. “Rowena brought Jared here. She wanted to know if I knew him.”

Marc’s eyes widened. He grabbed my hand and led me to sit on the bed with him. “Tell me everything.” I recounted the tale, and he listened carefully, prompting me when I hesitated. He held my hand as I spoke, his thumb brushing gently across my fingers.

“The way she said cellar,” I couldn’t hold back a shudder. “It sounded like some kind of punishment. How soon can we leave and get him out of here?”

His hand stilled on mine. “That’s where we may have a problem. I can’t be sure the signal went through. The communicator failed.”

“So that means…”

“It means we wait for the scheduled pickup in two weeks’ time.” He hesitated, and my heart plummeted to my feet. “It means we’re on our own.”

Follow along on Sofia's blog tour...

08-Sept - T’irla’s Talk - Google & conspiracy theories

09-Sept - Tara Quan - YOU ARE HERE

10-Sept - Parker Kincade - Picture books & virtual streets

11-Sept - Pippa Jay - TARDIS & the grassy knoll

11-Sept - Book Boyfriend Junkies - Solar powered fridges & the right dress

12-Sept - Rosanna Leo - Battlefield & giant library

12-Sept - Diane Saxon - Richard Hammond & exotic food

13-Sept - Cover Reveals

14-Sept- Bookly Booknatics - Ghardians & timelines

14-Sept - Love, Lust & Laptops - Fluffy plans & dark ideas

15-Sept - A Coffee Addict’s Book Reviews - Time travel & love stories

16-Sept - Barb Taub – Writing & Coffee - Paradox & runaways

17-Sept - Epic Narrative Book Reviews - Beautiful society & Ghardians

17-Sept - Those Crazy Book Chicks - Loophole & ideas file

18-Sept - Barbara Elsborg - Rosemary Sutcliff & history classes

19-Sept - Loralie Hall - TETRIS & good bathrooms

20-Sept - JL Simpson - Giant library & dodgy Utopia