Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Anticipation

Emotion Anticipation

When you want to write the emotion anticipation, 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 showing emotions and immerse your readers in your story.

Anticipation is a feeling of excitement or anxiety about something that is going to happen in the future. It involves a sense of expectation and a readiness to act or react to what is anticipated. Anticipation can be positive, when we are looking forward to something enjoyable or beneficial, or negative, when we are dreading or fearing something unpleasant or harmful. In literature, anticipation can be a powerful tool for creating tension, suspense, and anticipation in the reader, and for driving the plot forward.

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

Different Types of Anticipation

Here are some different types of anticipation:

  • Excitement about a future event or experience
  • Eagerness to achieve a desired goal or outcome
  • Anxious waiting for something to happen
  • Hope for a positive outcome or result
  • Nervousness about the unknown or uncertain future
  • Optimism for a promising future
  • Enthusiasm for an upcoming event or activity

Situations Associated with Anticipation

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

  • A major life event is coming up, like a wedding, a job interview, or a big move.
  • The character is waiting for news or a response, like hearing back from a potential publisher or waiting for medical test results.
  • The character is planning something exciting, like a surprise party or a vacation.
  • The character is about to embark on a new adventure, like starting a new job or going on a first date.
  • The character is pursuing a goal, like training for a marathon or studying for a big exam.
  • The character is in a situation where they expect something to happen, like waiting for a storm to hit or watching a game-winning shot in a sports match.

Physical Reactions to Anticipation

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

  • Fidgeting or restlessness
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased heart rate or breathing
  • Sweating or flushed skin
  • Quick or shallow breathing
  • Clenched jaw or fists
  • Nervous energy or hyperactivity
  • Increased alertness or attentiveness
  • Checking the time or calendar frequently
  • Difficulty focusing on other tasks or topics
  • Increased talkativeness or excitement

Thoughts Associated with Anticipation

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing anticipation might have:

  • I can't wait to see what happens next!
  • I hope everything goes according to plan.
  • What if things don't turn out the way I expect?
  • I feel so excited and nervous at the same time.
  • I wonder how this will change my life.
  • I hope this moment lives up to my expectations.
  • I can't stop thinking about what could happen.
  • I feel like something big is about to happen.
  • I hope I'm prepared for what's coming.

Atmosphere of Anticipation

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

  • Use foreshadowing or hints in the setting to create a sense of impending action or excitement.
  • Use vivid and detailed descriptions of the surroundings to build up the tension and anticipation in the reader's mind.
  • Create a contrast between the calm or ordinary setting and the impending excitement or danger to heighten the anticipation.
  • Use sensory details to create a sense of urgency or anticipation, such as the sound of footsteps approaching, the smell of smoke in the air, or the feeling of a gust of wind.
  • Use pacing and sentence structure to create a sense of anticipation and tension, such as short, choppy sentences or long, drawn-out descriptions.
  • Create a sense of uncertainty or unpredictability in the scene by introducing unexpected elements or events, such as a sudden plot twist or the arrival of a new character.

Verbs Associated with Anticipation

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

  • Awaiting
  • Expecting
  • Longing
  • Yearning
  • Hoping
  • Imagining
  • Pining
  • Craving
  • Eagerly anticipating
  • Preparing for
  • Counting down to
  • Looking forward to
  • Envisioning
  • Anticipating with excitement
  • Foreseeing
  • Predicting
  • Anticipating with nervousness
  • Shivering with anticipation

Emotions Before Anticipation

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

  • Excitement
  • Curiosity
  • Hope
  • Eagerness
  • Enthusiasm
  • Optimism
  • Wonder
  • Awe
  • Joy

Emotions After Anticipation

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

  • Joy
  • Excitement
  • Relief
  • Satisfaction
  • Contentment
  • Gratitude
  • Enthusiasm
  • Elation
  • Exhilaration

Telling Anticipation Examples to Avoid

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

  • She was eagerly waiting for him to arrive.
  • He felt excited about what was going to happen next.
  • She couldn't stop thinking about what might happen in the future.
  • He was looking forward to the party all week.
  • She was anxiously anticipating the results of her exam.
  • He couldn't wait to see what was in store for him.
  • She felt a sense of excitement and nervousness about the upcoming trip.
  • He was counting down the days until his vacation.
  • She was already planning out what she would do when she finally got there.

Practical Examples of Showing Anticipation

Here are some examples of showing anticipation in a sentence:

  • She couldn't sit still, tapping her foot and checking the clock every few seconds.
  • He scanned the crowd eagerly, hoping to catch a glimpse of his old friend.
  • She had been looking forward to this moment for months, and now that it was finally here, she felt a rush of excitement.
  • He held his breath as he opened the envelope, unable to anticipate what was inside.

Exercises for Showing Anticipation

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing anticipation:

  • Start by exploring the character's motivations for anticipating something. What do they hope to gain or avoid by anticipating this event or outcome?
  • Use sensory descriptions to convey the character's physical sensations as they anticipate. For example, describe the way their heart races or their palms sweat.
  • Consider how the character's anticipation affects their behavior and interactions with others. Do they become more nervous or excited? Do they try to control the situation or take action to prepare for what's to come?
  • Write a scene where the character's anticipation is building, but the anticipated event doesn't happen as expected. How does the character react and cope with this disappointment?
  • Experiment with different writing styles to convey anticipation. For example, try using shorter sentences and sentence fragments to create a sense of urgency and tension.
  • Write a scene where the character's anticipation leads to a surprising outcome. How does the character feel when their expectations are exceeded or shattered?
  • Use dialogue to reveal the character's anticipation and their thoughts and feelings about what's to come. How do they communicate their hopes and fears to others?

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

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.