Emotional Beats: Ways to Portray Fear and Nervousness (part 1)

Nicholas C. Rossis

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

Fear and Nervousness (part 1)

People in danger may experience fear first, followed by anger. This follows the usual flight vs. fight reflex. As a result, you may wish to mix these two up. Keep in mind that people may also try to hide or fight their fear or nervousness (of course, the reader knows better than to fall for that).


The whole body can also be used in a beat. Consider for example the overused “he turned around.” Here are some common gestures that come as a response to fear:

  • She whirled around.
  • He spun around.
  • She twirled.
  • He pivoted his body.
  • She swung her body.
  • She…

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