Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Repulsion

Emotion Repulsion

When you want to write the emotion repulsion, 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.

Repulsion is an intense feeling of dislike or disgust towards someone or something. It is a strong emotional response that can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as physical appearance, behavior, or beliefs. Repulsion can be a powerful tool for writers when crafting characters, as it can create tension and conflict in a story. Understanding the nuances of this complex emotion can help writers create more well-rounded and believable characters.

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

Different Types of Repulsion

Here are some different types of repulsion:

  • Disgust
  • Aversion
  • Revulsion
  • Horror
  • Nausea
  • Loathing
  • Abhorrence
  • Hatred
  • Intolerance

Situations Associated with Repulsion

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

  • Witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event
  • Being exposed to something that goes against the character's beliefs or values
  • Encountering something or someone that is physically repulsive or disgusting (e.g. a dead body, a grotesque monster)
  • Discovering a dark secret about someone they trusted
  • Being betrayed or let down by someone they care about
  • Feeling overwhelmed or suffocated in a particular environment or situation
  • Being forced to do something that goes against their moral code
  • Experiencing a sense of powerlessness or helplessness in a situation
  • Feeling violated or exploited in some way
  • Being confronted with a reminder of a past trauma or painful experience.

Of course, there are many other situations and events that could lead to a character experiencing repulsion, but these are just a few examples.

Physical Reactions to Repulsion

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

  • Flinching, recoiling, or physically moving away from the source of repulsion
  • Wrinkling or scrunching up the nose, curling the upper lip, or making a disgusted facial expression
  • Squinting or averting the eyes, or turning the head away from the source of repulsion
  • Covering the nose or mouth, or gagging or retching
  • Crossing the arms or legs, or creating a physical barrier between oneself and the source of repulsion
  • Shuddering or trembling, or feeling physically ill or nauseous
  • Speaking in a strained or disgusted tone, or using phrases like "That's disgusting" or "I can't stand it"
  • Avoiding physical contact or even the thought of physical contact with the source of repulsion

Thoughts Associated with Repulsion

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing repulsion might have:

  • I can't stand the sight of them
  • I feel sick just being near them
  • Every inch of my body is screaming to get away
  • The mere thought of them makes my skin crawl
  • I don't want them to touch me, even accidentally
  • I wish I could disappear or make them disappear
  • Their presence is a physical burden on me
  • I don't want to hear anything they have to say
  • I feel like I'm suffocating in their presence

Atmosphere of Repulsion

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

  • Use descriptive language to create a sense of unease or discomfort in the setting or atmosphere, such as describing the smell of decay, the feeling of dampness, or the presence of eerie sounds.
  • Incorporate symbols or motifs that evoke feelings of repulsion, such as rotting food, vermin, or bodily fluids.
  • Use contrasting elements to heighten the sense of repulsion, such as placing a beautiful object in a filthy environment or a repulsive object in a pristine environment.
  • Use sensory details to create a visceral reaction in the reader, such as describing the taste or texture of something that is repulsive.
  • Use the reactions of other characters to mirror the emotion of repulsion, such as having them recoil in disgust or become physically ill in response to something.

Verbs Associated with Repulsion

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

  • Recoil
  • Shudder
  • Flinch
  • Revolt
  • Reject
  • Abhor
  • Detest
  • Loathe
  • Disgust
  • Dislike
  • Resent
  • Refuse
  • Avoid
  • Flee

Emotions Before Repulsion

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

  • Curiosity
  • Fascination
  • Intrigue
  • Discomfort
  • Unease
  • Apprehension
  • Fear

Emotions After Repulsion

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

  • Disgust
  • Horror
  • Hatred
  • Loathing
  • Contempt
  • Revulsion
  • Nausea
  • Abhorrence
  • Aversion

Telling Repulsion Examples to Avoid

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

  • She felt repulsed by the thought of touching the slimy creature.
  • He was repulsed by the smell of the garbage truck passing by.
  • She couldn't stand the sight of the moldy food in the fridge and felt repulsed.
  • The idea of eating snails made him feel repulsed.
  • She was repulsed by the way he chewed his food with his mouth open.
  • The thought of going back to that place again made her feel repulsed.
  • He tried not to show it, but he was repulsed by the sight of the bloody wound.
  • The mere mention of the word made her feel repulsed.
  • He felt a wave of repulsion when he saw the cockroach scurrying across the floor.

Practical Examples of Showing Repulsion

Here are some examples of showing repulsion in a sentence:

  • She recoiled as soon as he touched her hand.
  • The sight of the decaying food made her stomach churn.
  • He wrinkled his nose in disgust at the foul odor emanating from the dumpster.
  • She couldn't stand the thought of spending another minute in his company.

Exercises for Showing Repulsion

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing repulsion:

  • Start by defining the root of the character's repulsion. Is it a physical sensation, like disgust or nausea? Or is it a psychological reaction, like fear or discomfort? Once you have a clear understanding of the source of the repulsion, you can better convey it through your writing.
  • Use sensory details to bring the emotion to life. Describe the sights, smells, sounds, and sensations that the character experiences when confronted with the object of their repulsion. For example, if a character is repulsed by the smell of rotting food, describe the stench in vivid detail.
  • Consider the character's body language. How do they physically react to the object of their repulsion? Do they recoil, cover their nose, or tense up? These physical cues can help convey the depth of their emotional response.
  • Use dialogue to reveal the character's thoughts and feelings. What do they say about the object of their repulsion, and how do they say it? Do they use strong language, or do they struggle to find the words to express their disgust?
  • Think about the context of the scene. How does the setting or other characters contribute to the character's repulsion? For example, if a character is repulsed by a certain food, how do other characters react to their aversion? Do they tease the character, or do they try to be understanding?

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

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