Creating a Mood


Being a published author I occasionally get novice writers asking me to read some of their work and comment on it. Sometimes I do (if I feel I have time), sometimes I decline. As you can imagine, I’ve read all kinds of writing. Some very, very good and I wonder, Why hasn’t this person landed a contract yet? and some . . . well, some that needs a lot of work.

One of the common threads I notice in those that need a lot of work is lack of mood. This is something I’ve learned through the writing of my three books thus far: Creating a mood for the reader is pivotal.

Every story should have a mood that it creates, whether it be suspense or horror or warm comfort or sweet love. Think about books you’ve read that have really captured you. Didn’t they create a mood in you.

Here’s some I think of: Stephen King’s stories carry a mood of creepiness (by the way, I think King is the master of this mood thing. He could write about a little girl playing dollies in the back yard and it would feel creepy); W. Dale Cramer and his southern fiction creates a mood of down home comfort and simple living; Nicholas Sparks’ stories create that mood of sweet, innocent love.

See what I mean? Mood is everything.

As a writer there are various techniques used to create that mood. Some include:

1) Word choice. Carefully chosen words that give the piece a desired feeling.
2) The colors chosen for a setting. This doesn’t follow any hard and fast rule but color does create mood so they might want to be used appropriately.
3) Sentence structure. Shorter sentences create that feeling of movement and suspense. Longer sentences slow things down and warm the reader a bit.
4) Paragraph structure. Same as above.
5) Appropriate metaphors and similes. This is a tough one and takes a lot of the pondering to get that right feeling out of mets and sims.
6) Dialogue of characters. Both what they say and how they say it.

Get the drift? Mood is something chosen by the author before the writing has begun. When you read a story and feel a certain way, that feeling, that mood was created intentionally.

Here’s what I suggest, the next time you read a novel, pay close attention to how you feel reading the story, what mood is created, then look for how that author encouraged that mood through his/her writing.

Advertisements

About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on October 29, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Susan J. Reinhardt

    Hi Mike -Thanks for the tips! I'm almost half-way through my second manuscript. Color, huh? I'll have to see if I can incorporate that into my story.Blessings,Susan šŸ™‚

    Like

Silver Lining Sharings

True tales of inspiration

The Accidental Missionary

A regular guy tryin' to figure it out

ajmumblin

All the things I say in my mind, just not out loud (yet)

Spooks, Spectres, and Spilled Milk // RAENA J ROOD

One mother's venture into terror and toddlers . . .

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

Whispers in the Wind

Musings of a writer's life

MIKE DELLOSSO

wide-eyed fiction

JoJo's Corner

Read. Write. Love. Repeat.

Ambling & Rambling

Scattered thoughts and general musings

Parenting And Stuff

Not a "how to be a great parent" blog

Lynn Rush

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author

Bibliophile's Retreat

Bookish Musings, Banter & More

www.KevenNewsome.com

The intersection of faith and fiction.

Life Worth Serving

Life is messy...Yet Worth Serving

A Little Bit of Everything

Slices of life from a mom, army wife, craft maker, writer, etc.

%d bloggers like this: