Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Setting the Mood & a Writing Prompt

What sets the mood? Descriptive words, for one, help to create mood. Your setting, your characters, your plot, all these are dependent on such words. You appeal to your reader's senses, help him/her become an active participant. I often tell my students when they are about to work on a writing assignment to be aware of this. Or when they read a story, look for descriptive phrases and what senses they address. I tell them that when they write a narrative piece, for instance, if they haven't grabbed the reader's attention this way, then they haven't done their job. If I read a scary tale, I want to sweat, to feel my heart hammer with fear. If it's about romance, I want to melt inside and recall my own first love or kiss. You want the reader to feel this is personal, written just for him/her, to exist inside that story and its characters. Not an easy task for the writer, is it?

Now, I'd like to know what you do with mood. How do you create it? Also, how do you make your reader become involved through the senses? Give me your opinions. For those of you who want to tell by showing an example, here's a prompt to play with:

The clock chimed eight. She sat waiting with little patience when finally.....

I can't wait to read what you have to contribute. I hope you enjoy!