Bringing a Story to Life – Chasing the Mood

4751420-mood-pictures“I’m in the mood for a melody ”       – Robert Planet, I’m in the Mood

There are some days I just don’t want to write.

Maybe it’s having written over 200,000 words in a little over five months.

Which doesn’t include emails or the articles I’ve written for and, or the words that never made it into the final drafts.

Maybe I’m just not in the mood, which may be a more valid excuse for a writer than one might think.  However, valid or not, it’s an excuse that can’t stand.  Writers need to write, even when they don’t feel like it.

Perhaps especially then since inertia is a tough thing to overcome.

Yet forcing yourself to write can have negative consequences.  I recently had to trash 8,000 words because they didn’t work.  The action and dialogue steered my characters out of character.

They would never have acted that way or said the words I’d written.

It wasn’t wasted work.  In writing, I felt productive.  I felt like I was doing something.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t the right thing.

Time to take stock.

No Mood.  Not feeling in the mood to write is not the same as writer’s block.

I define writer’s block as feeling overwhelmingly lost.  You have no idea where to start. 

Not being in the mood is probably closer to inertia.  You know what you want to do.  You know what you need to do.  You just don’t feel like doing it.

Like cleaning out that closet/kitchen drawer/storeroom.

How to get past it?  Find the mood.

Mood = Emotion.  To find the mood, evoke the emotion.

Who.  Are you trying to make your character feel the emotion or the reader?

There are times  where the reader has information the character doesn’t.

Character.  I’ve had good luck getting in the mood to write by putting myself in my character’s shoes.

Picture yourself as an actor on stage.  The director is discussing what your character is going through, which inevitably leads to a discussion of how they are probably feeling because of it.

Imagining what the character is feeling at any moment, given what they are going through, enables me to connect to the mood of that character.  This translates to words.

What.  This is the mood of a scene.  What is going on?  What is the objective?

There is the objective of the character in the scene but there is also the objective of the writer.  What is the writer trying to accomplish by having the scene in the story? 

Purpose as Mood.  Is the scene moving the story forward or making the reader stop and take note?  Is something good or bad happening in the scene?

There are degrees of bad.  Has there been a tragedy that causes heartbreak or it is simply an irritation, like a run in a stocking on the way to a job interview?

Where.  Sometimes, getting out is the best way to move forward.

Setting the Scene.  There are times when I need to be in a location that mimics the atmosphere my character is in.

You’d be surprised how many locations can have a sci-fi and/or futuristic feel.  Think museums or the contemporary design of modern office complexes.

If you can’t go to such a place, surround yourself with images that accomplish the same idea.

Movie posters, or images you print yourself can work beautifully.

Location Location Location.  I have gone to coffee shops, pubs, libraries, and numerous outdoor locations to find inspiration, and while I’ve generally had good luck, I have also had it blow up in my face.

I was recently working at a coffee shop.  Everything was going well when all hell broke loose.  The local Middle School had let out and dozens of kids, along with their very talkative parents, descended on the tiny space.  The noise level was unbearably loud.  Not even listening to music could drown out the cacophony of thirty boisterous people crammed into a space the size of a large bathroom.

If you are going to go somewhere to write, make note of closing times and shifts in atmosphere that occur naturally, as in a pub at happy hour, or a coffee shop when school lets out.

If I ever need to write an irritated character, I know where to go to work.

On the Move.  I have had great luck grabbing my iPhone, earbuds, and tennis shoes, and going for a walk.  Listening to music often starts the flow of ideas and within ten to fifteen minutes, I’m writing scenes and dialogue in my head.

Speaking of music and earbuds…

While researching a solution to my frustration with the poor quality of digital music, I came across a site that enabled me to test the quality of my ear buds.

Excellent, and inexpensive.

The Sound of…Pain?  The process of listening to the various tones validated my long-held conclusion that EMF Sensitivity happens because the individual suffering symptoms hears ultra-low and very low frequencies.

I figured this out just prior to publishing Riding the Waves: Diagnosing, Treating, and Living With EMF Sensitivity.  The details of my discovery are in the book.

These sound frequenciess are translated into signals that, in EMF Sensitive individuals, tell the brain there is a threat.  Histamines are released as the Fight or Flee response is activated, resulting in a variety of physical symptoms that range from irritating to debilitating.  Though I no longer suffer from EMF Sensitivity, I do hear the ultra-low and very low frequencies.

Emitted by geologic fault lines prior to an earthquake, these sound frequencies can be heard by certain individuals.  They have been described by some as a clicking sound, and while I have heard this clicking, more often I hear a ringing tone.  The length of time and strength of pitch matches the magnitude and duration of the quake.

Though everyone in my family was able to detect this tone, I was the only one who had a physical response to it.

I am also the only one who can hear earthquakes before they happen.

The 30Hz Tone sent a painful electrical shock down my spine, with a particular zap on my lower right side, before going down my right arm and right leg. simultaneously.  This is the same sensation I describe in Riding the Waves – when I was in a New Age shop doing research with magnetic stones purported to be healing.

If people want to know whether or not they are susceptible to ultra-low and very low electromagnetic frequencies, listen to the 30Hz Tone.

Fiction on Facebook.  I will no longer be posting holistic health articles to Facebook.  I will continue to update so if you follow my blog you will receive email updates when new information has been posted.

And speaking of fiction…

Bishop Pair, the second book in the Metatron’s Army series, will be available Summer 2017. 


2 thoughts on “Bringing a Story to Life – Chasing the Mood”

  1. I hope you do find the emotion to write, since from following your blog it is so much a part of ‘you’. The coffee shop was a funny experience to share, but I do hope you can continue to find the passion to allow your thoughts and images to fill the pages of your novels. You have a great talent in the ability to tell a story, but also a better one in the creation of a story. I enjoyed the first novel of Metatron’s Army. I am looking forward to the second release this year. That is a lot of writing for one year, but you seem to have a knack for it. I can feel the frustration that Christine is having with being a leader, but you have built her as a natural warrior. I can’t wait to see if she considered calling the handheld showerhead ‘George’. Good luck on finding the passion and the emotion to keep writing.


    1. Michael: Thank you for taking the time to write. I am so happy you enjoyed Metatron’s Army Advantage. I welcome your continued feedback as you read future installments and see how the characters grow toward fulfilling their destinies – a process that can take longer than one might realize as life and events shape them. I’m back at that coffee shop, and thankfully, it is much quieter today. Thank you for your encouragement. I will endeavor to keep on this path because, as Ray Bradbury wrote, “Every story I’ve written was written because I had to write it. Writing stories is like breathing for me, it is my life.” So true. Have a great weekend! Elizabeth


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