I'm so sorry I missed Tuesday! I was feeling really ill, and I was sleeping most of the afternoon.
Today I'm talking about emotions you're feeling, and how you express them in your writing. This post idea is kind of spur of the moment (seriously. I stared at this page, typing that first sentence, and in my mind I was planning what I was about to say, when bingo!) so bear with me.
We all know that emotions play an important part in books. And we all know that the reader won't feel the emotion unless the writer is too. Like the great Robert Frost said, "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader."
But it's more than crying and shrieking (by the way, I may be a pantser, but I don't see how the outliners can surprise themselves). It's about feeling everything, and letting that affect the writing, down to the phrasing.
Let me give a personal example. Back in November, I participated in Nano. I went to one of the live write-in event things, and it was amazingly awkward. I sat there, a little teenager with a little notebook, while all the adults tapped away at their own notebooks. Except their notebooks were computers. And mine was, well, just a notebook. I was tense and awkward, but I started writing. Upon rereading, I noticed that my characters were like that too. Their dialogue was strange and choppy, the prose, simply put, strange and awkward. Awkward. Like I was.
So you obviously have to have the right mood, and be interested in writing for your words to come across semi-decent on the page. If not? Your writing will be unattached and bland. Channeling is a lot more natural, once you're feeling it.
So. What do you do if you're in a certain mood, or not in the mood at all?
If you're not in the mood to write at all, pull up some other project you have, and just write. Or start something new. Maybe it will never see the light of day. But if you start writing, there's a good chance you'll GET into the mood.
If you're in a certain mood, either try the above method, or just write a random scene for your novel that maybe-will-end-up-in-it-but-will-probably-not-but-you-want-to-write-it-anyway-just-in-case-and-besides-why-not.
Okay. You want to write. You really want to get to the next scene. It's going to be so exciting when the zombie giraffes stampede, and the undead gummy monkeys jump down from them and start whacking everyone upside the head with rotten bananas! The scene is going to be really thrilling and fast-paced, heart-stopping. But, in reality, the thing you're in the mood to write about is the forbidden love between the robot werewolf and the vampire Pomerania puppies!
(Impromptu prompt: Write a short story, under a thousand words using the aforementioned plot devices.)
How do you get into the right mood for a scene?
One way is to think happy (or heart-stopping) thoughts. That time you cuddled a live grizzly? Happy. That time you bungee-jumped? Heart-stopping. Maybe it'll get you in the mood.
I take the easy way out, though. Music. Besides for making a playlist for each of my novels, I have one for moods, as well. For my novel, Eberheardt, I made some extra playlists. One of them was called "Death Scene".
For another project of mine, a contemp (don't worry, it's fun, nothing serious) set in a small town, I have a handful of country songs.
And, for a third one called "Fight Instinct", which has a lot of hand to hand combat, I added a bunch of quick songs, and I boost the bass, if possible.
What do you do to get in the right mood for a scene?
PS: I'm still looking for guest posters! If you're up for it, just let me know somehow!