It's the first week of the month, which means it's time for a review for the Indies Unlimited Reading Challenge. This month, I'm supposed to read a nonfiction book. I've chosen Emotion Amplifiers by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.
The subtitle suggests this short book is a companion guide to The Emotion Thesaurus, which is already a Rursday Read, and I'd say that's the best way to look at it. In The Emotion Thesaurus, the authors give you ways to indicate your character's emotional state while not coming right out and saying which emotion he or she is feeling. It allows the reader to identify with your character more easily, and so draws them further into your story.
Emotion Amplifiers is a book to turn to when you want to up the ante. Your character's sad or angry? Well, he might go out and get drunk. Turn to the section on inebriation and you can add a few details to your scene that will indicate just how drunk he is. Then you can set up a situation that requires sober judgment, and see whether he's up to the challenge.
Now, most of us have probably been inebriated at one time or another, and could therefore fill in the blanks without a guide. But what if your character is dehydrated? Suffering from heat stroke? Exhausted? All of these states of being can make a character feel his or her emotional state more deeply. And it's at this sort of deep state that your characters can fight their internal demons, and maybe -- just maybe -- win.
Emotion Amplifiers is free for Kindle. If you've found The Emotion Thesaurus useful, I'd recommend you pick up this companion book. If nothing else, it can serve as fodder for plotting your next novel.