How to Create a Mood

In today’s installation of Think Like a Writer, we’ll look at creating a certain mood for your story, novel, or picture book.

Writers know that readers want a certain experience and part of that is creating emotion or feeling. In other words, we need to create a setting that has a certain mood.

How to do that? Creating a mood is fairly simple, if you start with the basic idea of sensory details. Now, the writer’s eye kicks in as you select details. Once again, think about your story and what sensory details your character would be experiencing. What do they See, Hear, Touch, Taste, Feel?

But this time, you want to select details that support your mood. For example, if you want a scary beach, the sky is dark, brooding; the waves crash so loudly that you can’t hear the gulls; the cold wind grounds all seabirds and cuts through your flimsy sweater; the wind blasts your face and you can’t get away from the taste of salt; you smell nothing but the wool scarf wrapped around your face.

If you want a happy beach, you choose different details; soft wind ruffles your hair, sunglasses slide down the sweat on your nose, the smell of sunscreen brings back memories of that time on the beach in Jamaica, the mojita tastes perfectly minty, and the sea is a glassy swell.

Writers notice sensory details. Then, they choose the right details to create a mood.

2 responses to “How to Create a Mood”

  1. […] scene doesn’t have enough excitement and needs more action. Maybe. But what if you revise it, concentrating on the mood the scene evokes, working to make it tense and emotion-filled? Maybe the problem is Mood, not amount of Action […]