Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Stealing the Mood


So this week has not been what I would call an ideal writer's week. Have you ever noticed how our mood changes the whole tone of what we are writing?


Mine certainly does.


I'm working on the ending of my WIP now. (Yay!) But I'm at a funeral scene. Now--that was fine when I was so depressed about life on Monday. I could write about coffins and tears and grief. But now that I am feeling somewhat encouraged again--it's hard to tackle that same sad scene. I don't want it to pull me down.


My characters seem to go the way I go. And that isn't always the best for them. When I'm feeling really happy or excited, I want my characters to be happy too. Even when they aren't supposed to be.


So I'm writing in small bites until I get through this part of the book. How about you? What do you do when your mood tries to steal your storyline?




23 comments:

Jennifer Shirk said...

Honestly? I read.

I have a few go-to favorites. When I need to be upbeat and I'm not feeling it, I'll read one author or maybe a few scenes of her book to pick me up and make me feel lighthearted. And when I need to be sad or poignant and I'm not feeling it, I read another author who will "bring me down" and get me in that frame of mind. LOL!

It obviously doesn't take much to change my mood. :)

Julie Gillies said...

Hi Terri,
Since I write nonfiction I guess this post doesn't apply to me. But I'm right there with ya on the ups & downs of writing.

Hope you get some good avice. :)

Lin said...

I've only written non fiction so far...

Deborah said...

I don't write fiction but maybe you could just skip to another 'scene' that fits your mood, and come back to the funeral later. Why not let your characters follow your mood, and splice it all together later?
When I write, I tend to go with whatever comes and sort it all out later in a way that flows.

Billy Coffey said...

I write non-fiction too, but it's more story driven. For me, I take a shower.

Seriously. How can you not be happy after a shower?

Sassy Granny ... said...

Fake it until you make it!

I'll just bet you have a finely tuned imagination, one that allows you to recall or reflect on a specific mood. So maybe you just needed a day to relish the good things.

Kathleen

Jody Hedlund said...

My moods definitely affect my ability to concentrate. I usually find myself getting off track way to easily when I'm having a down day. It gets hard to focus on anything about my writing, happy or sad scenes!

Andrea said...

Sometimes I question: Is GOD leading my story line in a different direction? emotion and all that goes with it? I find that GOD uses my emotions to build stronger characters and reveal HIMSELF in ways I could NOT have comprehended.

Just a thought..blessings and prayers, andrea

Cindy said...

I can relate to what you're saying. But I usually find that even with a more cheerful mood writing a somber scene, I can still focus enough to write what I think needs to be written. If I absolutely can't seem to get into the mood of the story, I will write another scene, either something more serious if I am serious or something more upbeat if that follows my mood.

Kristen Painter said...

I use music to get me in the mood when my brain is going in the other direction. It really works for me.

Warren Baldwin said...

I write nonfiction (but an occasional story). I just go with the mood. Then, I sometimes have to go back and change it. I write sermons (4-5 page manuscript), radio talks (5 * 1 page mss a week) and a Sunday night lesson. That's about 10 pages a week, when everything is clicking right. I try to let the text I am working with or the story determine the mood of what I am writing. Good thoughts here Terri. (Thanks for your comments, too, Jennifer). I haven't really thought about how we might/should change our mood for what we are producing. There is education in blogging!

T. Anne said...

It's hard not to get swayed by my personal mood but I try to get into the characters head and you know what? Most of the time they pull me out of mine.

Renee Collins said...

If I need a good and depressing feel to a scene, but I'm not feeling it I just listen to some sad music. :) Always helps.

Jill Kemerer said...

I understand. You finally feel somewhat good about life and you don't want to head into a downward spiral because of a sad scene.

Go ahead and write that scene and use all of the emotions you felt before your mood improved. Afterward, do something that really brings you joy--don't skip this step--because all of the good feelings will then return. Plus you'll feel fantastic about the awesome scene you just wrote.

We have to work with our moods!

Wendy said...

You know, oddly enough I've never considered this and I often write sad scenes. Hmmm. Maybe it's something I should think more about. I think watching a funny movie or TV show would help and throw me off a little.

Thank you for having me think on this.
~ Wendy

Angie Ledbetter said...

I'll read or work on poetry or some other writing project. (Sometimes just skipping the sticky chapter helps.)

Greg C said...

My writing mimics my mood and I can always tell when I was in a dark mood by going back and seeing what I wrote that day.

Trudy said...

Wow, very interesting. I need to keep visiting you to find some inspiration. I'm just a very beginning writer and have done mostly poetry. How the heck do you just get going with things?

Jan Cline said...

I hadn't really thought of that before. I guess our mood would affect what we write. Something to pay attention to.

Im so glad you are feeling encouraged. Ive been praying for you.

Melissa Marsh said...

When I'm in that down of a mood, I just don't write on the novel. Instead, I'll pull out my journal. That works so much better for me and I don't have to go back and edit out all my depression from the book!

LisaShaw said...

Praying for you sweet one.

I'll be honest my mood does determine my writing either blogging or the notes for my book but when it's a not so up beat then I do something to CHANGE that. I sometimes will write with Christian music playing and that lifts me especially Lord Your Holy by Karen Wheaton. Old song but it blesses me constantly.

Love ya.

Ching Ya said...

Hi Terri,
Know what, my mood is usually prompt me to write my offline articles. I got the story and mood, and funny the writings just come out easier when I write about them at that exact timing.

Different when I blog. If I have an unfriendly mood, most probably I'll be doing anything else but writing. Maybe because my blog is about pillar and research type of posts, and usually that requires massive timing and patience..

Or I should just have chocolate or ice cream instead. Yeah, that usually would cheer me up. ^^

Best wishes!

@wchingya
Social Media/Blogging

Valerie said...

Hello, I just found your blog so stopped for a read.

If my mood isn't compatible with the scene I'm writing, I stop and do something entirely different. I do find my characters lead me though, rather than the other way round.