Today I would like to talk about mood.
A helluva bomb was dropped on me recently and my mood has been more up and down than a Six Flags roller coaster. I’m having an extremely hard time dealing with it but strangely, in all it’s complexity, it makes me want to write, which is a good thing, yeah? Of courrseeee it is! Anything that compels someone to write is a good thing!
As a writer, you have to be ready and willing to strike a mood at any time for any scene at the drop of a hat. I usually use synthetic mood inducing music playlists for each of my novels so if I need to induce anger or sadness or a sappy mood all I need to do is click a button and let the music take over. It really is only a placebo affect though. The real thing, the REAL anger and the REAL sadness…there’s no truer writing and it’s a difficult place to be.
Writers are at their truest selves when they take from real life. My stories, for instance, Ni Hao Handsome and I’m the Punch Line? Wow, Really? were stories taken from my real life. There was embarrassment, self-deprecation, sarcasm, joy and so many other minute things. I formed them into something other people can relate to and that’s phenomenal. I was damn proud of those stories! Am, actually. And looking at those stories makes me realize how important injecting human emotion into stories is.
No matter what you write, Fiction, non fiction, biographies, Cook books, sci-fi, literary, poetry…all of it, every single word, is used to invoke emotion in the reader. Some will read the same poem and take different things away from it. Some will critique it or not feel anything. That’s okay. I just believe that with your current WIP, whatever it may be, deserves an injection of real emotion, not stuff that SOUNDS real.
Like, when you’re reading a paragraph and the author makes an analogy that so totally fits your understanding you have to believe they’ve felt what you have at some point. THAT is what mood helps us to do. It’s so broad in interpretation too! There are things written that you may never have thought about until you pause and contemplate.
“Wow….Okay yeah! I can totally see that.”
These are the moments I believe that writers have when they’re genuinely feeling that emotion. I admire them for translating their thoughts and feelings onto paper without sounding contrived. To cry over a death or a reunion or get angry at a villain for doing this despicable thing…I enjoy those experiences and try, whenever I’m able, to write my mood as well.
For instance, there is someone that I desperately miss right now, even though we’ve never met in real life. I miss his mind, his humor, his gentle admonishments when I’m being an idiot. This brings to mind my Silver Sun story, when the main character Merry is missing her almost-husband Gaelyn. I would use this emotion to write scenes where she’s reflecting on him. I would put her in my shoes and attempt to write the emotions I felt.
Or maybe I’m black with rage and feel like I could cut down the first person who crosses my path. This could be Nona, the main character in my Hourglass novel when she realizes her husband is dying without her. What a damn good ride this rage would take us on!! And I know my readers would relate to the emotion, if not the situation. It is, I believe, every writers dream to connect like that to their audience.
Nothing is purer than the emotion of real life experiences. If writers are able to capture than and funnel it into their novels, then I know their readers will thank them for it. Readers are not dumb. They can tell when something is contrived. Write the truth and readers will respond.
Sorry this is a short blog post. My Jim Beam shots are kicking in to numb me because I just feel too much right now. Nothing is clear enough to write except this blog.
Take care y’all. write on.