Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pass-along Descriptions: Anger

You know it's coming. Your characters face off. Tension builds. Hackles rise. Then comes the emotional explosion.

How would you describe what they do and what they think?

This is round two of pass-along mental and physical descriptions. If you missed the previous one on SUPRISE, visit:

Any descriptions listed here are open for any and all to use in their work. The purpose is to have a resource of new imagery ideas for those times you're writing at 3:00 a.m. and your brain simply can't find the words.

Okay, okay. You can use them at other times, too.

Have fun and thanks for contributing!


  1. How a character gets angry, and what makes them angry, are both so revealing. Some people have a long, slow burn anger that festers and some people have a quick, explosive temper. Some can't help but express it, and some can't bring themselves to express it.

    Yeah... I don't actually have useful descriptions, but you've got me thinking about characterization. Pardon me while I sketch out the protag of another book...

  2. I've seen "apoplectic" used for anger. Incensed, irate, fuming, having a conniption, seeing red, exploding at every little thing, like a charged thunderhead ready to strike a lightning bolt at the first bit of metal close by, ...

  3. Emily, you're so right. Anger is different from person to person, and it's good to really understand your character and how they'll respond. Good luck with your protag!

    Anonymous, I love the lightning and thunder analogy! Thanks!

  4. A seething animosity that quietly burns away love.

    White-knuckled empty fists. Head drooped, slowly shaking.

    A fierce beast seeming half-asleep that lashes out without warning.

  5. Rebecca, seething is such an awesome, powerful word! I could feel the anger. Thanks for your contributions!

  6. Jonene! Great post, and yes, I missed the other one. Shame on me!!!

    Okay, since you guys have the synonyms down pat, I'll go with visceral reactions, maybe emotional? here we go:

    eyes like hard ice, fire in your eyes, mouth pinched, flushed face, rush of fire in your veins, trembling, breath fast and shaky, acute sense of awareness, adrenaline rush, hands and shoulders and stomach tighten as well as muscles, jaw clenches, nostrils flare, heart pounding.

    throw something, break something, hit something, scream, pull hair, bawl, lash out, cause pain to self or others, aggressiveness, name calling, hurt someone

    Anger when faced by yourself: throw a tantrum and bawl. Lol. I know I do!!! ;)

    Here's an article on anger:

    Thanks for this post. I had fun! <3

    ~Elizabeth :)

  7. Elizabeth, wow! Great images, and thanks for the link!

  8. Oh, Elizabeth, you are amazing! That got my heart pumping just to read it.

  9. Sweet stuff! I'm not sure what to even add. I think the slow burning anger is the freakiest. I love bad guys who are in control of themselves even while they simmer with anger.

    Kind of a narrowed eye, slight smile, quickened breath in anticipation of inflicting pain kind of anger.

  10. Thanks Jenene, Rebecca! It's always great to show what the character is feeling. I think telling only then, ties it all up just beautifully!

  11. Thanks, gals! You are amazing. This is a lot of fun.

  12. grrrrrrr

    sorry, couldn't resist


    -a burning inside of you that wants you to lash out at something or someone

    -someone's voice dripping poison

  13. Amber, oo, love the dripping poison!


What be on yer mind?