By Megan Standley
Anger seems to be the only emotion that anyone feels nowadays. Whether it be from politics or a bad day. Anger, of course, can be a really good outlet for bottled up stress and bad thoughts, but it’s not as acceptable as emotions like sadness.
So, say you need to have a scene in which your main character is angry. A good way to show this emotion (similarly to sadness) is to think of what makes you angry. You can go back to a place that makes you angry and really dwell on it. However, don’t dwell on it for too long; it’s not healthy to stay angry or dwell on a memory that makes you angry for long periods of time. So, take maybe five minutes to dwell on a memory that made you angry and during those five minutes take that anger and apply it to the scene.
If you want to use intelligent words, or words that apply to anger without explaining it too much, here are a few examples: exasperation, displeasure, distemper, vexation, and animosity. There are plenty more that you can find in a thesaurus, so be sure to use one to put you at an advantage.
In the movie Inside Out, Anger is red. His head flames up when he has his anger flares. As you watch the movie you see that Anger is in charge of Riley’s father, but her father isn’t angry all the time. That’s because there are many ways of expressing anger, and how you portray it is your own unique way. I tend to nag others about something that bothers me or I go the silent route and bottle it all up.
If you want your character to express anger in a way that’s not obvious to the secondary characters at first glance, you can have the character talk to their friends, or maybe sneak a hint that they are mad to both the secondary characters and the reader.
In my work-in-progress, Project Starfish, I plan to have a scene where Alexander gets really furious at his mother. I have a hard time incorporating anger into a scene. Describing exactly how angry Alexander is will be a hard accomplishment, but it’s not impossible.
Another way to help you practice incorporating anger into a character is to write a poem that personifies anger, or write a poem about what exactly makes you angry. Use a lot of description. When you’re finished, take a look at the exact words you used. If it’s a strong word and you just get that ‘yes!’ feeling when you read it, use it to describe what you character is feeling when you write your story. If it’s weak and you get that ‘eh’ feeling, go visit your friendly neighborhood thesaurus and see if there is a stronger word with the exact same meaning.
Never forget to make your main character feel all emotions. Anger is just as important as any other emotion. Without it, your character will be flat and unrealistic. Remember to allow your character a few flaws here and there; incorporating anger will help you achieve that goal.