We don’t like to talk about it in the real world, but in fiction, anger is a delicious emotion, creating conflict, triggering regret, and moving the plot.

You might already have an idea about what makes your characters angry, but how do they feel about it and what do they do with it?

Anger can be stimulating and energizing. Your hero might say something they normally wouldn’t or reveal a truth they’ve kept from someone.

Anger might make your character feel powerful, righteous, or in control. But when the anger passes, he might feel guilt or regret, or even feel physically fatigued.

In contrast, what happens when your character holds in their anger? We all do this, for social ease if no other reason. Generally, the more anger we withhold, the stronger it gets, but anger can also be expressed in other ways. Someone who withdraws or engages in self-harm might be hiding their anger in an unhealthy way.

In the real world, we want to accept and vent our anger in healthy ways that don’t hurt other people, but in fiction, the messier the better!

Is expressed or withheld anger bringing your hero towards a crisis point?