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Where You Feel Emotions Physically

Discussion in 'Writing Resources' started by Devor, Dec 31, 2013.

  1. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I found this on Gizmodo this morning. It's a map showing the research for where on the body each emotion affects you physically. The actual research is linked in the post. It looks about right to me.

    Most of the time the physical symptoms of your emotions are pretty subtle. But if you've got characters going through some powerful emotions, it might be a nice touch to include them.

    Where Emotions Hit You, Visualized

    Notice, for instance, the hands on contempt.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
    JRFLynn, Ireth, Ankari and 1 other person like this.
  2. Guru Coyote

    Guru Coyote Archmage

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    The thing about using the body's reaction to describe/illustrate character's emotion is this: the reader will respond much more directly, resonating the same kind of feeling.
     
  3. Bansidhe

    Bansidhe Minstrel

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    I've used The Emotion Thesaurus for the same sort of deep writing, to great effect--but it's nice to have additional resources!
     
  4. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    I think for me, physical responses are hard to "make up". I really rely on what crit partners and beta readers respond to, to know whether I've hit the mark or missed by a mile. People feel things differently and I try to show that in particular characters. While one is used to blushing, on another, it feels an odd sensation, foreign and outright disconcerting.
     
  5. Guru Coyote

    Guru Coyote Archmage

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    I think one of the reasons why physical reactions to emotions 'vary' is not because the reaction to the base emotions varies... but because we seldom register base reactions on their own.
    Two people get angry.
    One balls their fists and feels hot.
    Theo other... blushes from shame... They have been braught up with the belief that anger is not good and are ashamed that they would feel such a base emotion.
    Same emotion, totally different physical reaction.

    One way to put it might be 'compound physical reaction.'
     
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    That's a good point, Guru. It's also good to note that this is about where your body is conditioned to respond to the base emotion. If raw anger sends energy to your arms, there are still a lot of different ways it can come out.
     
    Guru Coyote likes this.
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