How to Show (Not Tell) Emotion–E to O

As writers, we always are looking for better ways to express and show feelings. Jacqui Murray gives some great tips!

Emotions show up on your body in a variety of hand movements, eye twitches, breathing patterns and more. There are so many ways to show what your characters are feeling without boring us as readers by saying, Anabelle felt angry. Yuck! Show me, don’t tell me! If you’re looking for an emotion starting with A through D, check out the first installment of this series, How to Show (Not Tell) Emotion–A-D. By the way, these apply to both the character’s Point of View and the individual watching.

Here are some ideas:


  • heart race
  • breathing quicken
  • cheeks flush
  • skin tingle
  • pupils dilate


  • tight muscles
  • cold hands or feet
  • fluttery stomach
  • shortness of breath
  • diarrhea or frequent urination
  • lower pulse rate

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