Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Anger

Emotion Anger

When you want to write the emotion anger, it's important to "show" the emotion your character is experiencing through their physical reactions and dialogue, rather than "tell" it. In this article we provide you with inspiration so you can avoid emotion tells and immerse your readers in your story.

Anger is a powerful and complex emotion that can be characterized by feelings of irritation, frustration, and hostility towards someone or something. It is often accompanied by physical sensations such as an increased heart rate, tense muscles, and rapid breathing. Anger can range from mild annoyance to intense rage and can be caused by various factors, such as perceived injustice, disrespect, or being hurt or threatened in some way. It is a natural and normal human emotion, but it can also be destructive if not managed properly.

  1. Different Types of Anger
  2. Situations Associated with Anger
  3. Physical Reactions to Anger
  4. Thoughts Associated with Anger
  5. Atmosphere of Anger
  6. Verbs Associated with Anger
  7. Emotions Before Anger
  8. Emotions After Anger
  9. Telling Anger Examples to Avoid
  10. Practical Examples of Showing Anger
  11. Exercises for Showing Anger

Different Types of Anger

Here are some different types of anger:

  • Frustration
  • Resentment
  • Irritation
  • Outrage
  • Fury
  • Hostility
  • Bitterness
  • Annoyance
  • Wrath

Situations Associated with Anger

Here are some situations where a character might experience the emotion of anger:

  • Feeling betrayed or wronged
  • Experiencing injustice or unfair treatment
  • Facing obstacles or challenges that seem insurmountable
  • Dealing with incompetence or irresponsibility from others
  • Witnessing or experiencing violence or abuse
  • Feeling powerless or helpless in a situation
  • Being criticized or belittled
  • Feeling threatened or endangered
  • Dealing with loss or disappointment

Physical Reactions to Anger

Here are some physical reactions a character experiencing anger might have:

  • Tightening of facial muscles, especially around the jaw and forehead
  • Clenched fists
  • Flushed skin or a reddening of the face
  • Rapid breathing or hyperventilation
  • Increased heart rate or palpitations
  • Pacing or restlessness
  • Raised voice or yelling
  • Aggressive body language, such as pointing or leaning forward
  • Fidgeting or wringing of hands
  • Breaking objects or slamming doors
  • Curling of lips or snarling
  • Narrowing of eyes or glaring

Thoughts Associated with Anger

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing anger might have:

• I need to stand up for myself and show them I won't tolerate this behavior

Atmosphere of Anger

Here are some ways that you might reflect the emotion of anger in the atmosphere of your scene:

  • Use a setting that matches the intensity of the character's anger, such as a stormy night or a crowded street
  • Incorporate physical elements that reflect the character's anger, such as objects being thrown or broken
  • Use descriptive language to create an atmosphere of tension and hostility, such as describing the air as thick with anger
  • Use contrasting elements to heighten the character's anger, such as a peaceful setting that is disrupted by the character's outburst

Verbs Associated with Anger

Here are some verbs commonly associated with the emotion of anger:

  • Seethe
  • Rage
  • Fume
  • Bristle
  • Snap
  • Snarl
  • Glare
  • Scowl
  • Roar
  • Grumble
  • Rant
  • Spit
  • Curse
  • Hiss
  • Tremble
  • Steam
  • Storm
  • Pound
  • Clash

Emotions Before Anger

Here are some emotions that may come before a character experiences anger:

  • Frustration
  • Irritation
  • Disappointment
  • Resentment
  • Hurt
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Betrayal
  • Injustice
  • Disrespect
  • Jealousy
  • Insecurity
  • Powerlessness
  • Rejection
  • Abandonment

Keep in mind that these emotions are not always the cause of anger and that people can have different triggers that lead them to feel anger.

Emotions After Anger

Here are some emotions that may come after a character experiences anger:

  • Frustration
  • Resentment
  • Guilt
  • Regret
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Shame
  • Empathy
  • Forgiveness

Telling Anger Examples to Avoid

Here are some examples of telling the emotion anger in a sentence. You should avoid things like this:

  • She was so angry that she couldn't even speak.
  • He felt a burning rage inside him that threatened to consume him.
  • She clenched her fists in frustration and anger.
  • His face turned red with fury.
  • She shouted angrily at him, her voice shaking with emotion.
  • He gritted his teeth and glared at her with intense anger.
  • She seethed with resentment and anger, unable to control her emotions.
  • He felt a surge of anger and lashed out at the nearest object.
  • She felt a deep anger bubbling up inside her, but she tried to keep it under control.

Practical Examples of Showing Anger

Here are some examples of showing anger in a sentence:

  • She slammed the door so hard, the frame shook.
  • He threw the book across the room, watching it hit the wall with a satisfying thud.
  • Her fists clenched as she tried to suppress the urge to lash out.
  • He gritted his teeth so hard, his jaw ached.

Exercises for Showing Anger

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing anger:

  • Think about what triggers anger in your own life. Consider situations that have made you angry and how you reacted to them.
  • Write a scene where your character is faced with an unjust situation. How does your character react? What actions do they take in response to the situation?
  • Write a letter or diary entry from your character's perspective when they are feeling angry. This can help you get into their head and understand how they process and express anger.
  • Write a scene where your character is arguing with someone they care about. How does your character express their anger? What words do they use?
  • Think about the physical sensations that come with anger, such as a tightness in the chest or a pounding headache. Try to describe those sensations in your writing.
  • Write a scene where your character is trying to control their anger. Maybe they are in a situation where they can't lash out or they are trying to maintain their composure in front of someone they want to impress.
  • Consider your character's backstory and how it may have shaped their relationship with anger. Maybe they grew up in a household where anger was suppressed, or maybe they had a traumatic experience that made them more prone to anger.

Want more help with showing emotion instead of telling? You find more help in our full emotional thesaurus.

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