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Inspiration Decks Emotions 2024-03-14 00:00

Emotion: Sarcasm

Emotion Sarcasm

When you want to write the emotion sarcasm, 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 not telling and immerse your readers in your story.

Sarcasm is a form of verbal irony, where someone says something but means the opposite. It's often used to mock or ridicule someone or something in a humorous or snarky way. Sarcasm can be expressed through tone of voice, choice of words, and even body language. It's a way to convey a message indirectly, often with a touch of wit or humor.

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

Different Types of Sarcasm

Here are some different types of sarcasm:

  • Dry sarcasm: a type of sarcasm that is subtle and understated
  • Juvenile sarcasm: a type of sarcasm that is childish and often includes mocking or taunting
  • Irony: a type of sarcasm that is characterized by saying something opposite to what is meant, often with a humorous or satirical intent
  • Self-deprecating sarcasm: a type of sarcasm where the speaker makes fun of themselves or their own situation
  • Snarky sarcasm: a type of sarcasm that is sharp and cutting, often meant to criticize or belittle someone or something

Situations Associated with Sarcasm

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

  • Feeling frustrated or annoyed with a situation or person
  • Believing that someone is being insincere or not genuine
  • Finding a situation or person to be absurd or ridiculous
  • Being in a position of power or authority and using sarcasm to assert dominance
  • Feeling overwhelmed or stressed and using sarcasm as a coping mechanism
  • Being in a social setting where sarcasm is the norm or expected
  • Feeling insecure and using sarcasm to deflect attention away from oneself
  • Being in a conflict or argument with someone and using sarcasm as a defense mechanism
  • Feeling a sense of superiority or intelligence and using sarcasm to showcase it

Physical Reactions to Sarcasm

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

  • Eye-rolling or exaggerated facial expressions
  • Smirking or sneering
  • Speaking in a dry, monotone voice
  • Using exaggerated emphasis on certain words or phrases
  • Making snarky comments or witty remarks
  • Using irony or understatement to convey a message
  • Crossing arms or leaning back to show disinterest or detachment
  • Using body language that contradicts the words being said
  • Being dismissive or flippant towards others' opinions or ideas

Thoughts Associated with Sarcasm

Here are some thoughts a character experiencing sarcasm might have:

  • Oh sure, because that's a great idea.
  • Well isn't that just fantastic.
  • Oh joy, another brilliant suggestion.
  • Wow, I'm so impressed with your intelligence.
  • I can't wait to hear more of your insightful opinions.
  • I'm sure you have all the answers, as usual.
  • What a surprise, another stroke of genius from you.
  • How could I have been so blind to not see the brilliance in your idea?
  • I'm sorry, I must have missed the part where you became an expert in this subject.

Atmosphere of Sarcasm

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

  • Use a setting that seems positive or ideal, but has underlying issues or flaws that are subtly hinted at. This can create a sense of irony and sarcasm.
  • Create a sense of tension or discomfort in the atmosphere by having characters use biting humor or snarky remarks towards each other.
  • Incorporate dark humor or satirical elements in the setting or atmosphere to convey a sense of sarcasm.
  • Use a contrast between the setting or atmosphere and the character's emotions or actions to create a sense of irony and sarcasm.

Verbs Associated with Sarcasm

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

  • Sneer
  • Mock
  • Taunt
  • Ridicule
  • Deride
  • Satirize
  • Ironize
  • Lampoon
  • Jibe
  • Jeer
  • Scoff
  • Ridicule
  • Tease
  • Twit
  • Sardonicize
  • Parody
  • Mimic
  • Mimicry
  • Caricature

Emotions Before Sarcasm

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

  • Disdain
  • Contempt
  • Frustration
  • Annoyance
  • Disappointment
  • Disapproval
  • Irritation
  • Cynicism
  • Bitterness

Emotions After Sarcasm

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

  • Irritation
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Hurt
  • Resentment
  • Embarrassment
  • Amusement (if the sarcasm is well-received or understood)

Telling Sarcasm Examples to Avoid

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

  • "Oh great, another meeting. Just what I wanted to spend my afternoon doing."
  • "Thanks for letting me know at the last minute that the deadline has been moved up. I love a good surprise."
  • "I'm so glad you decided to grace us with your presence. The party was really lacking in pretentiousness until you arrived."
  • "Wow, you really nailed that presentation. I mean, if the goal was to put everyone to sleep, you knocked it out of the park."

Practical Examples of Showing Sarcasm

Here are some examples of showing sarcasm in a sentence:

  • She twirled her imaginary mustache and let out a hearty laugh.
  • He rolled his eyes so far back, they almost got stuck.
  • She gave him a slow clap, her voice dripping with faux enthusiasm.
  • He bowed deeply, his hand extended in a gesture of mock reverence.

Exercises for Showing Sarcasm

Here are some writing exercises to practice showing sarcasm:

  • Write a scene where two characters are having a conversation and one of them uses sarcasm to mock the other's idea or opinion. Try to make the sarcasm subtle enough that the other character doesn't immediately catch on, but obvious enough that the reader can tell what's happening.
  • Create a character who uses sarcasm as a defense mechanism. This could be someone who is afraid of showing vulnerability or who has been hurt in the past and uses sarcasm as a way to push people away.
  • Write a dialogue between two characters where one of them is being sarcastic the entire time. The other character should gradually catch on to the sarcasm and respond in a way that shows they're not amused.
  • Use sarcasm to convey a character's frustration or annoyance with a situation. For example, if a character is stuck in traffic, they might mutter sarcastic comments under their breath about the other drivers.
  • Write a scene where a character uses sarcasm to hide their true feelings. For example, if a character is nervous about a job interview, they might use sarcasm to make it seem like they don't care about the outcome.

Remember to use body language and tone of voice to convey sarcasm, as well as the actual words being spoken. Good luck!

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

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