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Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Reverence

Emotion Reverence

When you want to write the emotion reverence, 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 emotional tells and immerse your readers in your story.

Reverence is a feeling of deep respect or awe towards someone or something that is considered to be worthy of honor or admiration. It is a complex emotion that involves feelings of admiration, respect, humility, and even fear in the presence of something greater than oneself. It can be directed towards a person, an idea, a belief system, a natural phenomenon, or a work of art, among other things. Reverence is often associated with spirituality, religion, and traditions, but it can also be felt in secular contexts, such as towards a mentor or a historical figure.

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

Different Types of Reverence

Here are some different types of reverence:

  • Religious reverence (towards a deity or sacred object)
  • Reverence for nature (appreciation for the natural world)
  • Reverence for authority (respect for those in positions of power or leadership)
  • Reverence for tradition (respect for customs and practices handed down through generations)

Situations Associated with Reverence

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

  • Witnessing or experiencing a miraculous event
  • Being in the presence of someone they greatly admire or respect
  • Being in a sacred or holy place
  • Experiencing something of great historical or cultural significance
  • Being in awe of nature or the universe
  • Witnessing an act of great heroism or selflessness
  • Being faced with something they consider to be greater than themselves

Physical Reactions to Reverence

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

  • A sense of awe or wonder
  • Quiet or stillness
  • Bowing one's head
  • Slow, deliberate movements
  • Speaking in a hushed tone or whisper
  • Maintaining eye contact with the object of reverence
  • A sense of humility or subservience
  • Kneeling or prostrating oneself
  • Tears or weeping
  • Holding one's breath
  • Folding one's hands in prayer or meditation
  • Maintaining a respectful distance from the object of reverence
  • Offering gifts or sacrifices as a token of respect

Thoughts Associated with Reverence

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing reverence might have:

  • I am in awe of this moment.
  • There's something sacred about this place.
  • I'm humbled by the greatness of this person.
  • I feel small in the presence of this grandeur.
  • I am grateful for the opportunity to witness this.
  • I feel a deep respect for the significance of this event.
  • I can't believe I get to be a part of this.
  • I am honored to be in the presence of such greatness.
  • I feel a sense of reverence for the beauty of this moment.

Atmosphere of Reverence

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

  • Use descriptive language to create a sense of awe and wonder in the setting. For example, describe a grand cathedral with intricate stained glass windows and high vaulted ceilings.
  • Incorporate elements of nature that evoke a sense of reverence, such as a majestic mountain range or a serene forest.
  • Use lighting to create a sense of reverence, such as a beam of sunlight shining down on a sacred object or space.
  • Incorporate rituals or traditions that inspire reverence, such as a religious ceremony or a cultural celebration.
  • Include significant objects or artifacts that hold symbolic meaning and inspire reverence, such as a holy book or a family heirloom.
  • Use silence or soft music to create a sense of reverence in a scene.

Verbs Associated with Reverence

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

  • Admire
  • Honor
  • Respect
  • Venerate
  • Worship
  • Cherish
  • Treasure
  • Esteem
  • Idolize
  • Revere
  • Regard
  • Bow
  • Kneel
  • Submit

Emotions Before Reverence

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

  • Awe
  • Admiration
  • Respect
  • Amazement
  • Wonder
  • Gratitude
  • Humility
  • Veneration
  • Esteem

Emotions After Reverence

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

  • Gratitude
  • Awe
  • Humility
  • Admiration
  • Inspiration
  • Respect
  • Wonder

Telling Reverence Examples to Avoid

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

  • John felt reverent as he gazed upon the statue in the park.
  • The church was a place of reverence for Sarah.
  • The old library filled James with reverence every time he walked through the doors.
  • The elder statesman was revered by all who knew him.
  • The students listened with reverence as the professor spoke about the great philosophers.
  • The majestic mountains filled the hiker with a sense of reverence.
  • The ancient ruins inspired a feeling of reverence in the archaeologist.
  • The choir's performance left the audience feeling reverent.
  • The veteran's sacrifice was a source of reverence for the entire community.

Practical Examples of Showing Reverence

Here are some examples of showing reverence in a sentence:

  • She approached the ancient temple with slow, reverent steps.
  • He lowered his head in deep reverence when he met the wise old monk.
  • The crowd fell silent in reverence as the national anthem played.
  • She spoke about her mentor with reverence, as if they were a saint.

Exercises for Showing Reverence

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing reverence:

  • Write a scene where your character is in awe of something or someone. How do they react physically? Do they have trouble finding words or are they struck silent? How does their body language convey their sense of reverence?
  • Have your character describe their hero or idol. What qualities do they admire? How do they feel when they think about this person?
  • Write a scene where your character is visiting a sacred place or participating in a religious ceremony. How do they behave? What thoughts or emotions do they experience?
  • Have your character encounter something that is vastly more powerful or knowledgeable than they are. How do they react? Do they feel humbled or intimidated? How does this experience change them?
  • Write a scene where your character is reunited with someone they deeply respect or admire. How do they greet this person? What emotions do they experience? How does their behavior change around this person?
  • Have your character witness an act of great kindness or selflessness. How do they react? Do they feel grateful or reverential towards the person who performed this act? How does this experience change them?

I hope these exercises help you create characters that show reverence in a compelling and authentic way!

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

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