EMOTION AMPLIFIER THESAURUS

AROUSAL



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HELPFUL TIP:

Amplifiers are conditions that enhance emotions, causing characters to become more volatile. This often leads to impaired decision-making, hasty actions and, best of all, mistakes. When utilizing an amplifier to generate conflict, think carefully about setting choices and which environments will naturally escalate emotion. An amplifier can also be perfect for triggering your character’s negative traits; the resulting fallout will draw attention to how his flaws trip him up and hold him back.
DEFINITION:
A state of physical and psychological alertness when a new source of interest is introduced

NOTES:
There are several states of arousal: physical (including sexual), emotional, and cognitive (intellectual). Men and women will display this state differently, so this entry will focus on generalized aspects of arousal common to both. For more insight into the body language tied to arousal (especially escalated sexual arousal), visit our entries on DESIRE and LUST, and visit One Stop's body language tip sheets that show the stages of attraction.

PHYSICAL SIGNALS AND BEHAVIORS:
A head lift and eye contact
Eyes furrowing or narrowing to examine, seeking cues to read the situation
Sudden blinking as one processes the meaning of this new source of interest
Focusing one's gaze on the subject and holding it there
Multitasking (holding a conversation with others while watching the subject of interest, for example)
Leaning in or moving toward the source or subject
Body posture straightening (especially if the source is focusing their attention on the character also)
Smiling, tension leaving one's face (if the stimulus is positive)
Touching one's own face (skating fingers along the jaw, rubbing at an eyebrow, tapping the lip)
Licking one's lips or clearing the throat
Forgetting what one was about to say
Lips parting slightly
Breath that quickens in slow increments
A gaze that travels, taking in every aspect of the source of interest
Plucking at one's own clothing to straighten or adjust
Growing non-responsive to others (not answering a question, taking a step away to signal one's intent to exit)
Playing with jewelry (spinning a watch or ring, touching a charm on a necklace)
Becoming more fidgety if one is unable to engage with the subject (due to other people being present, one's responsibilities in the moment, or something else)
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INTERNAL SENSATIONS:
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MENTAL RESPONSES:
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CUES OF ACUTE OR LONG TERM AROUSAL:
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CUES OF SUPPRESSED AROUSAL:
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WRITERS TIP:
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ASSOCIATED POWER VERBS:
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SCENARIOS FOR BUILDING CONFLICT AND TENSION:
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