, , , ,

Emotional Beats | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Read for free with KU

Last week, I mentioned the launch of Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings. As promised, here is the first installment from the book. It lists beats you can use to convey anger.


Many of anger’s physical reactions are also common to both fear and anger—for example, the heart beating faster. The following beats, however, are particular to anger:


  • He shot her a venomous look.
  • He shot her a furious glance.
  • She speared him with another glare.
  • He shot a glare up at her to silence her.
  • She shot him a glare, but there was still a twinkle in her eye.
  • She looked him in the eyes and he looked straight back into hers.
  • He held her gaze for a moment before looking away without a word.
  • A groan accompanied the roll of his eyes.
  • His eyes were stormy.
  • Her eyes widened.
  • He glared at her without blinking.
  • Darkness crossed his eyes.
  • She skewered him with an unflinching look.
  • Accepting the glaring anger that poured from her eyes, he kept her tight against him.
  • Her eyes darkened.
  • Her angry gaze sliced his face.
  • She flayed him with her gaze.
  • He leveled a glowering look.
  • She shifted her angry glare to his face.
  • She met his unrelenting stare.
  • His eyes burned fanatically.
  • She gave him a look designed to peel his hide.
  • Her eyes flashed with anger.
  • Her eyes narrowed to crinkled slits.
  • She skewered him with a look.
  • She shot him a sour look.
  • He shot a glare at her.
  • She treated him with a look of unmitigated fury.
  • She caught him in a dark gaze.
  • His eyes squeezed into thin slits.

Face and Head

  • Boiling with fury, he ground his teeth and clenched his jaw so tight, it hurt.
  • An infinitesimal twitch in her lips that told him he had hit the mark.
  • His nostrils flared.
  • He could hear the blood rushing through his head.
  • His jaw clenched.
  • He gritted his teeth so hard, his jaw ached.
  • He ground his teeth.
  • Her head flew back.
  • He gritted his teeth for control.
  • Heat burned his cheeks.
  • Anger spiraled from the pit of her stomach.
  • Anger swelled in her guts.
  • Anger churned in her chest.
  • She snorted with derision.
  • Her frustration bubbled at her face.
  • His expression grew turbulent.


  • His hands dropped to his sides to form clenched fists of tension.
  • Her hands squeezed/tightened into fists.
  • She clenched/balled her fists.
  • He slammed his hand on the table.
  • She pounded her fist on the table.
  • He shoved back his chair and slammed his fist on the table.
  • He slammed his fist on the table, his nostrils flaring.
  • His palms stung from digging his fingernails into them.
  • He gripped the arm of the chair.
  • Her nails cut into the heel of her hand as she tightened it around the bar.
  • She wagged her finger at him.
  • He jerked a thumb in her direction.
  • His fingers drummed the mattress.
  • With a swoop of her arm, she flung the stone in a shallow arc.
  • He tapped his foot.
  • She stomped her foot.
  • She pumped a fist.
  • He thrust his fists in the air.
  • She punched the air.
  • She extended her middle finger toward him.
  • He gave her the finger.
  • She let the door slam in her wake—just enough of a bang to register one final protest.
  • Her fists drew up like angry stones.
  • Her slap rang loudly in his ears; his cheek throbbed at the suddenness of it all.


  • He howled.
  • She hollered.
  • He barked.
  • She bellowed.
  • She roared.
  • He cried out.
  • She grunted.
  • “No,” she rasped.
  • “No,” she exploded.
  • “No,” she snapped at him.
  • He spat the words out through gritted teeth.Frustration and disdain were wrapped up in his instruction.
  •  “Listen to me,” he said, emphasizing each of the last three words.
  • She spat out the words.
  • …he said in a croaky voice.
  • A twinge of anger laced his voice.
  • He grated.
  • He started to speak but huffed out a breath first.
  • She choked out.
  • His voice/response was laced with irritation/impatience/frustration/anger.
  • He growled.
  • He retorted.
  • He shot back.
  • He snapped.
  • He panted.
  • He groaned.
  • He snarled.
  • He stammered.
  • He exhaled a groan rivaling a rusty hinge.
  • Every statement emerged as a growl.
  • “What?” he barked in answer.
  • He flung a handful of words at her through the open window.
  • …she mumbled, sucking back the bitter taste of past rejections.
  • The man’s laughter dumped hot coals into the pit of her belly.
  • Something bitter dripped from her tone.
  • Her voice caught an angry swath through the air.
  • She swore, tasting the bitter words. Their immediate heat burned her tongue and she worked her mouth to savor their rough, jagged edges.
  • …he said, his voice a sharp bite.
  • A hushed tone wedged itself between his words.

Next week: desire. View all posts on the subject, or buy the book on Amazon – free on KU!