Monday, March 16, 2015

Exploring The Emotion Of Anger

One of the major emotions we use in descriptive writing is anger. And although we can use the word in many different forms, repetitive usage of the same word, or close variations, becomes tedious and boring for our readers. Below I have listed alternative descriptions of the emotion of anger and while it isn't a complete list, it gives you an opportunity to explore other ways of describing your character.

Physical Signs 
  1. Flaring nostrils
  2. Sweeping arm gestures
  3. Handling people or objects roughly
  4. Legs planted wide
  5. Baring of teeth
  6. Shaking fist
  7. Protruding eyes
  8. Flexing fingers or arm muscles
  9. Cracking knuckles
  10. Cold, hard, flinty eyes
  11. Glaring
  12. Red face
  13. Lips curling
  14. Crossing arms
  15. Nails biting into palms
  16. Slamming doors, cupboards or drawers
  17. A vein that pulses, twitches or becomes engorged
  18. Deploying sarcasm
  19. Picking fights (verbal or physical)
  20. Stomping or stamping
Internal Responses
  1. Grinding teeth
  2. Muscles quivering
  3. Heartbeat pounding
  4. Body tense
  5. Heat flushing through body
  6. Sweating
Mental Responses
  1. Irritability
  2. Poor listening
  3. Jumping to conclusions
  4. Irrational reactions
  5. Demanding immediate action
  6. Impetuosity
  7. Taking inappropriate risks
  8. Fantasizing violence
Using these prompts, you should be able to create other angry descriptions of your own to add to your character. Combining a selection of these descriptions, plus some of your own, will create a convincing character who will be remembered by your readers. Good luck!


  1. This is just in time. The scene I've been working of for three days has some very angry people in it.

    1. Susan: I'm glad it was useful to you. Your scene sounds very tense.

  2. Replies
    1. Alex: Sarcasm is excellent if you're looking to present anger indirectly. I'll try it.

  3. Sounds like you are describing me before my morning coffee.

    (Is that sarcasm or truth!?) ;-)

    1. Retta: All of the above? My goodness! You must need a strong cup of coffee to soothe out the wrinkles. Hmm...

  4. What a great and informative post. I need to bookmark this.

    1. M Pax: Unfortunately it's not a comprehensive list, but it does give you ideas that can spark your own imagination. I'm glad you like it.