Back in September, I published Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings. As promised, I will be posting the book on my blog. So, here is the next installment, listing beats you can use to convey:


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

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A simple “he frowned” is the easiest way to portray a troubled character. It can get overused rather fast, though. Consider instead some of these alternatives to portray worry:


  • Dissatisfaction plowed his brow.
  • Up went his eyebrows.
  • One heavy eyebrow slanted in strong disapproval.
  • His expression slid into a frown.
  • His brow furrowed.
  • Her knitted eyebrows told me she did not believe me
  • Her forced nod of agreement told me I had failed to convince her.
  • His forehead creased with worry.
  • He had a little furrow between his eyebrows as he thought.
  • A deep frown crossed / creased his brow.
  • He scrunched his nose.
  • Her face scrunched up in worry.
  • He wrinkled his nose.
  • A worried expression marred her face.
  • He knitted his eyebrows.
  • Her furrowed brow told me she was beginning to worry.
  • There was a deep-set frown on her face.
  • His eyes narrowed as his eyebrows pulled together.
  • His eyebrows drew together in an anguished expression.
  • His eyebrows pulled together in question.
  • “This is bad,” she muttered, lines in between her eyebrows.
  • Her brow puckered threateningly.
  • His brow furrowed as his mouth turned grim.
  • His brow knitted into a frown.
  • Bushy eyebrows beetled.
  • She furrowed her brow, alarm bells ringing in her head.
  • Her forehead creased with concern.
  • He knitted his eyebrows together in puzzlement.
  • Worry lined his forehead.
  • A deep furrow got tangled in his brow.
  • His brow furrowed as if ideas bumped headlong into his mind.

Signs of trouble

Except for a frown, you can use any of the following to depict a troubled character:

  • She rocked back and forth.
  • His head lowered, he watched his feet step one after the other, his hands clasped behind his back to keep from trembling.
  • Slowly, he rose to his feet and proceeded to walk with hands clasped behind his back.
  • He covered his eyes with a hand.
  • She pressed her fingers to her lips.
  • He held his finger up to his lips.
  • He rubbed his chin.
  • His face fell the slightest bit.
  • She reclined on the sofa and pressed her fingertips against her shut eyes, like they might roll off, should she lose diligence.
  • Her spine jerked her upright.
  • He forced his spine upright.

This concludes Part 1 of Emotional Beats: Feelings and Emotions. Come the new year, I will continue with Part 2: Body Parts.

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