Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Defeat

Emotion Defeat

When you want to write the emotion defeat, 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.

Defeat is an emotional state that occurs when a person has experienced a setback or failure in their life. It is a feeling of overwhelming sadness, disappointment, and frustration that can arise from the inability to achieve a goal or overcome an obstacle. Defeat can often lead to a sense of hopelessness and a lack of motivation, making it difficult for a person to move forward and achieve their objectives. It is important for writers to understand this emotion and how to convey it effectively in their characters to create a sense of realism and relatability for their readers.

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

Different Types of Defeat

Here are some different types of defeat:

  • Crushing disappointment after a significant loss or failure
  • Overwhelming sense of hopelessness or powerlessness
  • Feeling beaten down or demoralized by repeated setbacks
  • Self-doubt or loss of confidence in one's abilities
  • Sense of shame or embarrassment after being defeated
  • Resentment towards others who succeeded where the character failed

Situations Associated with Defeat

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

  • Losing a competition or a game
  • Failing to achieve a personal goal or aspiration
  • Receiving critical feedback or rejection
  • Facing an insurmountable obstacle or challenge
  • Being betrayed or let down by a trusted individual
  • Losing a loved one
  • Being unfairly treated or discriminated against
  • Feeling helpless or powerless in a situation
  • Failing to live up to expectations or responsibilities

Physical Reactions to Defeat

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

  • Slumped posture and lowered head
  • Sighing or heavy breathing
  • Lack of eye contact or avoiding eye contact
  • Slow or lethargic movement
  • Lack of energy or enthusiasm
  • Avoiding social situations or isolating oneself
  • Negative self-talk or self-blame
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Lack of motivation or ambition
  • Difficulty making decisions or taking action
  • Lack of interest in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyable
  • Difficulty focusing or concentrating

Thoughts Associated with Defeat

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing defeat might have:

  • I can't do this, I'll never succeed
  • Why do I even bother trying?
  • I'm such a failure
  • I'm never going to be good enough
  • I don't deserve to win
  • I'm always going to be a loser
  • Everyone else is better than me
  • What's the point in trying anymore?
  • I'll never be able to make up for this mistake
  • I'm so disappointed in myself

Atmosphere of Defeat

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

  • Create a physical setting that is dark, dreary, and lacks vitality to reflect the feeling of defeat
  • Use weather to reflect the mood; a rainy, stormy day can create a sense of defeat
  • Have the characters interact in a space that is cluttered, messy or disorganized to reflect the state of mind of the character experiencing defeat
  • Use a color palette that is muted and lacks brightness, focusing on dark colors like black, gray or brown to create a sense of defeat
  • Use language that reflects the mood, for example, a character may speak in shorter sentences or use more negative or self-deprecating language when they feel defeated
  • Create a sense of isolation by placing the character alone in a large or empty space to reflect their feelings of loneliness and defeat

Verbs Associated with Defeat

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

  • surrender
  • succumb
  • concede
  • accept
  • yield
  • submit
  • give up
  • abandon
  • resign
  • bow
  • relent
  • cave in
  • collapse
  • crumble

Emotions Before Defeat

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

  • Frustration
  • Disappointment
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Hopelessness
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Despair
  • Regret
  • Guilt

Emotions After Defeat

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

  • Despair
  • Disappointment
  • Frustration
  • Regret
  • Humiliation
  • Embarrassment
  • Shame
  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Hopelessness
  • Self-doubt
  • Inadequacy
  • Guilt
  • Sadness

Telling Defeat Examples to Avoid

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

  • She felt defeated after losing the game.
  • He was defeated and didn't know how to react.
  • They had a look of defeat on their faces.
  • The defeat was palpable in the air.
  • She couldn't shake off the feeling of defeat.
  • He had a defeated tone in his voice.
  • The team's defeat was a hard pill to swallow.
  • She was overcome with defeat and didn't know what to do next.
  • His body language showed defeat.

Practical Examples of Showing Defeat

Here are some examples of showing defeat in a sentence:

  • She slumped against the wall, her shoulders sagging as she stared at the rejection letter.
  • He shuffled down the street, head down, hands stuffed deep in his pockets.
  • With a heavy sigh, she closed the laptop and pushed it away.
  • He stared at the empty page, the cursor blinking mockingly at him.

Exercises for Showing Defeat

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing defeat:

  • Write a scene in which the character suffers a significant loss, whether it be a relationship, a job, or something else they value.
  • Have the character reflect on past failures and missed opportunities, and how they have impacted their current situation.
  • Write a monologue in which the character expresses their feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness.
  • Describe the physical sensations the character experiences when they feel defeated, such as a heavy weight in their chest or a sinking feeling in their stomach.
  • Show how the character's defeat affects their relationships with others, for example, by causing them to withdraw or lash out.
  • Write a scene in which the character tries to pick themselves up after a defeat, but ultimately fails.
  • Have the character interact with someone who is experiencing success or achieving their goals, highlighting the contrast between their own feelings of defeat and the other person's success.

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

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