Ana resists the urge to explain:
R.U.E. Resist the urge to explain.
When an emotion is mentioned outside of dialogue, chances are it is an explanation of one sort or another. Self-Editing for Fiction Writers.
Which sentence allows the reader to feel the emotion?
"I can't believe it," she said in astonishment.
She stumbled back until she could grip something solid. "I can't believe it."
I have been reviewing my WIP chapters for my tendency to explain the emotions I am trying to show. It is a bad habit, but one that can be purged.
One way I've discovered to eliminate it is to eliminate as many dialogue tags as possible. Show the character cringing or beaming or shrugging.
Another is to delete -ly adverbs. "Ly adverbs almost always catch the writer in the act of explaining dialogue--smuggling emotions into speaker attributions that belong in the dialogue itself."
Adverbs that modify the verb said are an exception. "He said softly." is much different than "She said grimly." But these should be used sparingly.
A strong verb is better. "He threw the ball hard." vs "He hurled the ball."