Portraying the emotion of desperation

#FeelLines runs every Thursday on Twitter. The weekly theme is based on an emotion. The aim is to show a line where a character in your writing expresses this emotion.

Expressing the emotion of desperation

 
The definition of desperation is the state of being desperate.
  1. Feeling or showing you have little hope and are ready to do anything without worrying about danger to yourself or others
  2. Needing or wanting something very much
In the extreme, desperation will cause your characters to act out of character. They will be rash. Judgement and decision making will be hampered. They will break rules. Those who impede them will be cast aside, regardless of the relationship. Sacrifices made. Risks taken. The boundaries in their physical and mental strength will be tested. In short, they will be way out of their comfort zone.
 
Even if they’re masking the emotion, it’s not difficult to imagine the restless state the character will be in.
 

How would a desperate person feel?

  • Full of energy (like a coiled spring)
  • Pumped with adrenaline (this will give them that extra burst of energy, increase strength, resistance to pain)
  • A heart that’s racing in their chest
  • A dry mouth

The body language of a desperate person

  • A body/mind pushed to the limit
  • Character habits such a hand wringing, nail biting, pacing, hair pulling, toying with jewellery etc.
  • Restlessness, and an inability to eat or sleep
  • Excess sweating
  • A bowed spine
  • A pained look
 
I hope you can join in on #FeelLines and will be looking out for your entries every Thursday.

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