EMOTION AMPLIFIER THESAURUS

EXHAUSTION



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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:
The state of being extremely or completely tired

PHYSICAL SIGNALS AND BEHAVIORS:
Heavy eyelids
A head that droops, as if it’s wobbling on the neck
Eyes involuntarily drifting shut
Bloodshot or red-rimmed eyes
Bags or circles under the eyes
Swaying from side to side
Sagging in a chair
Speech that trails off
Hands hanging limply
An unkempt appearance
Poor communication (repeating things, incoherence, thoughts trailing off)
Disorganization
Falling asleep in odd places at odd times
Sleeping a lot or not sleeping enough
Speaking in a subdued voice
Unshaven cheeks (men)
Muttering or mumbling
Slouching or leaning with the shoulders bowing over the chest
Yawning
Eyes tearing up
Rumpled clothing
Clumsiness
Slurred words
Forgetfulness
A distant look or glaze in the eyes
Supporting the head with a hand
Laying the head on the arms
Tipping the head back and briefly closing the eyes
Rubbing at one’s face and eyes
Slowed reaction time
Laying the head down on a desk to “rest one’s eyes”
Jolting at sudden sounds (phones ringing, doors slamming)
Inappropriate responses (laughter that’s hard to stop, bursting into tears, aggression)
Slumped posture
Dragging footsteps

INTERNAL SENSATIONS:
Scratchy eyes
Blurred vision
Heaviness in the limbs
Weighted eyelids
A ringing in the ears; sounds coming as if from very far away
Lack of appetite
Slowed breathing and heartbeat
Heavy muscles
Dulled senses
Heartburn from too much coffee

MENTAL RESPONSES:
Difficulty focusing
Wanting or needing to sit or lie down
Impatience
Inattention
Lack of interest in hobbies and activities

CUES OF ACUTE OR LONG TERM EXHAUSTION:
Depression
Hypersensitive emotions
Crying
Loud snoring
Irritability
Impaired judgment
An inability to think clearly
Passivity; letting others take the lead
Forgetfulness
Poor performance at school or work
Falling asleep at inappropriate or dangerous times (while driving, etc.)

CUES OF SUPPRESSED EXHAUSTION:
Increased use of stimulants (coffee, energy drinks, loud music, drugs)
Constant motion so as to avoid any situation where one might fall asleep
Using products to cover physical clues (eye drops, cosmetics)
Offering excuses for tiredness (work, projects, loud parties next door)
Lightly slapping one’s cheeks to “wake up”

WRITERS TIP:
When a person’s physical or mental condition is compromised, it leads to poor judgment and mistakes. Take advantage of a weakened character to create further conflict.

ASSOCIATED POWER VERBS:
drag, blink, droop, slouch, drop, blunder, fumble, lose, doze, stall, lean, slacken, drift, scatter, cave, crouch, hunker, stagger, stumble, bumble, lurch, pitch, reel, trip, yawn, fog, drain, sway, struggle, reel, sleep

SCENARIOS FOR BUILDING CONFLICT AND TENSION:
When stealth and endurance due to a nearby danger or threat is key
If one is entrusted with the safety of others (surviving a plane crash, sandbagging during a flood, etc.)
When death is imminent as soon as one gives in to exhaustion (drowning, for example)
When giving up wars with achievement (camping in line for concert tickets or winning a contest)