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!


Ares said...

Hi.. i'm a high school student and i am having some trouble writing my story - it feels... empty. i find it hard to express myself, specially when trying to describe the events, the characters, etc. i find myself groping for words and thoughts. could you share some suggestions? (i'm kind of desperate)

teacherwriter said...

Ares -- I understand your frustration. I think we all experience those troubles when writing, at least on occasion. I viewed your blog and noticed that you are interested in photography and you like to draw. Maybe taking several photos of scenes that really inspire you, and then writing to describe them, creating a story about them might help your writing. Quoting someone who advised me recently, your first draft should come from the heart. Write without stopping, don't think about the grammar, spelling, lack of perfect language. Save that for the second round. And read...lots of ideas come from the way others write. And different genres. For instance, poetry gives us rhythm. And finally, just keep practicing. Write everyday. It doesn't have to be the same project you've been working on. Something you see or hear on any given day can inspire you. Write about it. Here's a website and article I found informative. It might help. It's worth a look at any rate.

Good luck. And come back to visit any time!

Ares said...

Thank you very much! I just checked out the site and i find it helpful. I'll keep in touch! ^^