Friday, 3 April 2015

A to Z Challenge 2015 - Emotions & Reactions - C is for Chagrin (writing discussion & fiction)

A to Z Challenge 2015 - Emotions & Reactions









This year for the A to Z Challenge, I'm investigating emotions and reactions and their use in writing. So, I'll be talking about my first thoughts as a writer when I think about the words we use to describe emotions and my experience of their use in literature and TV/Film.

chagrin
chagrin: annoyance or distress at having failed or been humiliated.

As you can see from the definition (thank you google), chagrin is a specific and somewhat sophisticated emotion. Beyond mere annoyance, chagrin is a response to failure, failure that involves some form of embarrassment. Yet, I have never seen it as a heavy emotion, it is annoyance, not outright fury to me. The fact that someone feeling it is also abashed tempers the reaction.

I think of Scooby Doo when I think of chagrin: the case is solved, the ghost has been revealed to be Mr Baker, the caretaker, and, with a grimace, he announces, "I'd have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you pesky kids!" ;P

Since chagrin is a combined emotion, it has that very specific use. It can't be used when a character is merely annoyed about something, or indeed, just embarrassed, it's when they've been shown up and are ticked off about it. I don't use this reaction very much, but it tends to be in situations where there are two characters on the same side, but who antagonize each other.The one-up-manship that goes on can lead to one or the other suffering a bout of chagrin.

QUESTION: Are there any good examples of chagrin used well you can think of?

~

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40 comments:

  1. unique theme for the challenge.. like it..

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  2. It's an interesting one. Yeah, it doesn't sound all that major to me. When I read "to his chagrin" I think of someone who's mildly peeved off.

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    1. Exactly! :) It also brings to mind for me diplomats playing word games with each other.

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  3. Can't think of a good example, but this term is a bit new to me. I"d heard it once or twice but dismissed.

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    1. I think my question today is a bit of a poser :)

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  4. I think of it as kind of a quiet emotion, a bit like shame. I'm afraid my brain is still mostly asleep so no examples are forthcoming :).
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

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  5. I don't think I've ever used chagrin, although I have used humble pie quite a few times--which by definition sounds like it's kissing cousin.

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    1. I think it sounds like it is, only maybe without so much annoyance, perhaps?

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  6. I've always found chagrin to be an odd word, probably because I don't think I've truly understood its meaning. I've always thought there was an element of humor to it (I blame the "grin" part of the word), but there's not, in fact. Good thing I've never used it, because it would have probably been wrong. :P

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    1. I've had words like that before - my nemesis was prostrate, I didn't know there was another word for when you're on your back, i.e. supine - but thanks to the world of fanfic, some kind person enlightened me when I totally confused them by using prostrate instead of supine. :)
      Sophie
      Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
      FB3X
      Wittegen Press

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  7. Great word today. This one is definitely a keeper.

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  8. I can't think of a chagrin example in a book at the moment, but I can surely think of a chagrin example in myself when I find out I made a mistake in a report I did at work (I do medical transcription, type up what doctors dictate after they see a patient). I get annoyed at myself even though I realize I am human. Good word!

    betty

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    1. I can annoy and embarrass myself too! Sometimes I can really wind myself up :)

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  9. Chagrin is a much better way of saying you or a character is feeling annoyed. I'v never used it though because, like you said, it sounds too sophisticated. I like my emotional words to have a harder impact.

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    1. It is a word I use rarely, it definitely does not fit every occasion.

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  10. Chagrin is a much better way of saying you or a character is feeling annoyed. I'v never used it though because, like you said, it sounds too sophisticated. I like my emotional words to have a harder impact.

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  11. To actually use the word chagrin in my fiction would not fit my characters. (None of them would ever use that word.) However, I've showed the emotion.

    Precious Monsters

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    1. I know what you mean, there are only so many types of character where chagrin would fit.

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  12. I haven't ever used this emotion. I've read a few stories that have, but I can't recall them off the top of my head.

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
    Member of C. Lee's Muffin Commando Squad
    Story Dam
    Patricia Lynne, Indie Author

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    1. I think my question today was a bit of a toughie, because now I come to think of it, it's pretty rare. I suppose Mr Darcy would have felt chagrin when Lizzie rejected him quite so eloquently.

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  13. I've used it, mostly in a shame sense like Natasha mentioned. It's a tricky emotion I think and really depends on the writing style. There are times when I've used it where I went back and changed it because the usage didn't feel right. Make sense?

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    1. I know what you mean - it is quite a precise emotion and sometimes in reread it can feel like it doesn't fit the character, or sometimes the mood.

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  14. - thanks for sharing that was a eally interesting post. ! My post today is C for Cider With Rosie.... and Cats... ( I'm number 590 on the list) and so far enjoying the fun!

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  15. Huh, hard one! It's gonna bug me all day... I'll get back to you on that :D

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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  16. I use it as in 'much to his chagrin' which is like somebody is pretty annoyed. Dont use this word very often but it's a good one and you have explained it so well here! Thks :)

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    1. That is precisely the way I normally use it too :)

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  17. Hi Sophie Yes I have an example of a situation, I read difficult words on paper, then go to talk about them and pronounce them completely wrong because I've never actually heard the word before. oow those moments pinch..That would be an example of your word. How would you use this in a sentence describing what I told you? :) See you tomorrow.
    http://sytiva.blogspot.com/

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    1. How about - Much to Sytiva's chagrin, the winces from around the room as she pronounced the word made her realise she'd said it completely wrong. :)

      I used to have problems with the word ethereally - I used to pronounce it eth-er-re-ally, rather than eth-eer-ily.

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    2. Sophie that is a good way to use the word. Oh my I actually pronounce ethereal right! :) yeahee. Ok so today on my post "D" I actually misspell the name Main Coon right in the painting URRR. Going to see what your new one is. See you.

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  18. Excellent choice (and one of my favorite emotions to write)! :)

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    1. The rare ones can be fun to write :)

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  19. Um...probably every time Batman catches up with a bad guy! :O)

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  20. I've never used this one, and I don't know if I would. I don't think I'd ever know if I'd used it right!

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  21. I'm inclined to think that, for example, a male trying to impress a female via some tournament, but losing that tournament, would be an example.

    So... Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift, when Clay is losing to Sean, and his girlfriend says, "I thought you loved me." I'd say that Clay is feeling chagrin at that moment.

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Thanks for stopping by - I'd love to hear from you. :)