As a creative writer, you must feel the mood your are writing about. It is imperative if you want to reach your audience. And how are you supposed to do that? By experiencing the mood.
Let’s suppose you want to write a scene that displays anger. Maybe the story is about abuse, a mom and dad arguing, or sibling rivalry. Maybe it’s about a girl breaking up with her boyfriend because he was playing around on the side. If the scene is intense, you have to get into the mode. I mean red, piping hot angry.
Remember the guy or gal that dumped you 30 years ago? Remember the time you had a bad dream about your mate and you wouldn’t speak to him all day? How about when you got steamed at the boss, or got into a heated argument over politics, world affairs, abortion, women’s rights, etc.? As a writer, you must capture those emotions again and write them into your scenes. It should be so real that you will need to attend anger management classes to get over it.
Do you need to be happy? Then think of some very happy occasions. Sing really crazy! Laugh like an idiot! And when you begin laughing at yourself, it’s time to write that joy into your scene.
Another way to develop the needed emotions is to imagine yourself as the character and write entries in a diary from his/her point of view. Live the make-believe life. Do whatever it takes to crawl into your character’s skin. You can’t write effectively what you don’t know or aren’t in the mood for. (You can, however, write a draft for the scene and come back to build it in a more realistic way later.)
Remember that your protagonist (main character, hero) and antagonist (villain) must be three-dimensional characters. They must have a past and a future; they must have problems in their lives and they must work through those problems like real, live people. Those characters should be real enough to walk off the page in your reader’s mind and sit next to them. If the reader can’t identify with the characters, they aren’t likely to stay with the story.
I remember when my daughter was 16-years old. It was not uncommon for her to sit on the floor Indian style, and bawl her eyes out over a drama TV show. One night I winked at my husband and said, “That actress is playing her part really well, isn’t she?” He picked up on it and we talked back and forth about the actress’ career and wondered out loud what movie they would play in next.
Our daughter turned around, tears dripping off her cheeks, and said, “Quit it, you guys. You’re ruining the show!” But what she really meant was, “I’m into the character. I feel what she is feeling. Don’t move me out of the scene.”
If your characters aren’t three-dimensional, you’ll lose your readers. Put yourself into the mood and into the groove. Live what you write.
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