How to describe rage.

Is it something I’m truly bad with it’s describing the feeling of rage. One of my characters he’s feeling rage, and I just can’t write it, I can’t describe it. He’s saving his girlfriend from being raped, and manages to and he is so pissed. I want People to feel it, and I just manage to tell it, not showing it.

Can someone please leave in some details or tips on describing the feeling of rage?

One of the easiest ways to convey emotions is through how the character’s body reacts.
“She tore a sliver of skin off her thumb with her teeth; blood rose up to the surface of her flesh, but she didn’t seem to notice.” (anxiety)
I would recommend brainstorming or googling how others would react in this situation, paying specific attention to their body language. Body language is so important in story telling.


I am an expert on rage moments his blood will boil in his veins all rational thought will cease every muscle in his body will tighten as raw animistic rage takes over also add in a roar either a before battle roar or a after battle victory roar but what really sells a rage moments is what he does to his opponent and that feeling of emotional rawness following when he questions the violent person he was in those few moments

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Is the story in first person or third. If it’s in first it would be completely realistic for the character to outright say they are enraged in their internal monologue and reexamine the scene, pointing out each additional point that pisses him off until it gets an increasing sense of anger.

If it’s in 3rd, I’d err more on the side of actions. Maybe he can’t sit still or he’s sitting too still. Maybe he has stilted dialogue or isn’t focused.

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Well part of his reaction will be whether or not the attackers are still present, and whether or not you want him to physically demonstrate his rage on the rapists…

If they’ve run off and he has to manage his rage without the target of those feelings present, that’s going to be shown much differently than if he can unleash his hatred and anger.


In general, to show the character’s rage/anger/hatred in the moment, you can use things like -

Rapid pacing
Fists clenching
Teeth gnashing
Guttural growling
Punching things (even a fist into a palm)
Kicking things
Smashing or destroying things
Cracking neck and/or knuckles
Snorting or huffing out breaths through the nose (almost hyperventilating)
Shoulders tensing
Grimacing with upper lip/nose quivering
Furrowed brow
Banging their head against something or a fist/palm into forehead
Gripping hair in hands
Clutching at clothes
Crouching down into a ball
Mumbling under breath


To me is easier if I put myself on the character’s place. I think of something that has caused me that emotion before(rage in this case). I describe my body language and the thoughts coming to my head, and also depend on how the temperament of your character will act in front of this emotions. Would he give in to it or fight it? Perhaps after the rage you might describe frustration. If I was him, and my girlfriend had raped, or almost, is not just rage. Is also fear, frustration, in case I can’t do anything to stop them, or in case they escape from me. I would kick a wall, clench my fists, throw something away, even cry if the anger is too much to hold. Your body feels like burning, your head grows hot and your heart is about to jump of your chest.
I guess that if you feel it, the reader might feel it too.


Pinched lips
Shaking fists
Tightened jaw
Harsh tone of voice

But like many above have stated ot depends on who your character is. One of mine would simply simle and walk off so I have to resort to internal thoughts.

Hope this helps:)


Thank you all for this Thread! I was lokking for this! :purple_heart:

Think of a time you were royally pissed off. Remember how your body felt. Describe that. Your muscles likely tended up, you vision became more tunneled and focused on whatever was enraging you. Your probably felt your body temperature rise, rational thought ceased to exist and you imagined all the ways you could hurt that person or thing. You may have even acted out physically, hitting something or yelling, etc.

Extreme violence

acting is reacting- how does he react to the things around him and inside of him

he might want to contain his actions as to not scare his gf

so the balance between the two

The best way to describe it is through his actions, his facial expressions, and his dialogue.

Is his hands clenched into fists? Does he have a vein bulging out of his temple or neck? Is his face red? Are veins bulging out of his muscles? When he talks, does he grit his teeth? Is his eyebrows furrowing? Is he pounding his fist against something? Is he tossing furniture in random directions to get his rage out?

Think about how he acts and try to describe that. Just by his actions, you can tell that he is enraged with the incident.

Actually, it think it should depend on what kind of person he is usually. Once we know that, then you can get better advice for this

I always just think of my own rage. When I get so angry there’s no turning back, there are 2 things that can come from it.

The blistering, hot, dry heat that pulls up from within me. It’s sort of like a dust tornado. Spinning, spinning, spinning with no control or end in sight. It overtakes you, until you’re filled with heat, and you just explode. Situations where this occur are usually in arguments with someone. Like, one time my dad and I got into an argument and I snapped. I just stared at him and said, in the coldest, harshest voice the worst thing I could think of, and it made me feel better, in that horribly satisfying way. It’s also silent. If I’m dry mad, I’m usually fuming internally, and one thing could make me just break open.

And then there’s the wet rage. Rage that wells up inside of you, so much so, so overwhelming that it makes someone cry. I usually experience this. Unlike dry heat, this rage doesn’t fill me as much as it consumes my chest. I feel it especially in my stomach, in my mind, in my heart. During an argument, I’m trying to choke down tears, my temples are throbbing, and my heart aches because whatever is happening then and there is just making me so fucking angry and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s like an argument with someone you really love about something super personal. It’s like when that one person who you love the most says the truest, most hurtful thing and you just know they’re right, but it fucking hurts. This is where I usually will cry, or throw shit, or punch a wall.

Another important thing to remember is that anger is usually a sub-emotion. By that, I mean that it’s usually a sort of instinctual thing the mind does in order to protect the person. For example, I always get super angry when I accidentally get physically hurt. Or, if someone’s in my face, I’ll get mad. It’s like fight or flight. Most of the time, actually, all of the time, anger is something people use to mask the real emotion.




I think that always makes an impact when you add that in. They’re angry because that one person called them a bitch? Why, though? Like, yes, being called a bitch is upsetting, but why does it affect them to a level of rage? Is the other person right? Are they not being listened to? Dismissed?

I don’t really know, I guess when writing from a MC perspective, I always like to focus on the emotion and how that’s making them feel on the inside rather than what they do on the outside. Like, pulling their eyebrows together, gritting their teeth, face getting red. Those descriptions are really useful when describing another character (or writing in third person). I hope these helped you out!


Thank you so much, this was very useful. I liked the way you told me how you feel yourself, I tried to feel what my character was feeling, but it just blacked out. I’ll try and write some examples first, then try in my book.

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I know the saying ‘blinded by rage’ is kinda typical but it’s totally true, rage is like a trance of overpowering angry that you can feel surge in your chest and burst out with your actions. Often it’s difficult to think clearly and track what you’re doing hence the ‘blinded’

A lot of people seem to think that there’s this red fog that descends over ones mind when rage sets in. That is a popular fiction. Real rage, uncontrollable and terrible rage, is a sense of nothing. When someone is pushed to their absolute limit their minds will snap, or just stop processing everything. Everything goes black and your body operates on pure instinct, lashing out at whatever the source of that anger is. Be that a person, oneself, an object. And when you come to you will have no recollection of what happened only a sense of overwhelming exhaustion.

So there is no red tint to ones vision, no thoughts to process, no feelings to describe. You lose yourself completely to the monster that is pure rage. And whatever happens after that is a mystery, you only come to and experience the aftermath.

No problem, I’m glad to help. If you want anymore advice I’m happy to help more as well. I’m a pretty emotional person, and in turn an emotional writer :slight_smile: I guess it comes with being a Scorpio (jk, lol).