Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mood writing

I've been on a writing binge lately. I'm currently working on three short stories, two novels and a novella. I'm loving the process and the outcome. Amidst all this writing, I've noticed something that hadn't really struck me before. It's how my moods affect my writing.

This seems like an obvious concept, but I've never noticed it until now, not on this level. It goes something like this: I'll be in the groove of a story, it's coming into me like running water and I'm drinking it in and writing it out and wham! A distraction. I have a four-year-old, therefore, I have a lot of distractions.

So I have to set my story aside and go about my other life, the part that doesn't involve writing. Then when I get back to my story, it's not exactly hard to get back into, but it feels different somehow, like I'm working on a similar yet different story. I'm just having different feelings about it. I'm still enjoying the characters, the plot, the everything, but I'm pretty sure if I'd let the entire thing flow out at once, I would've described things differently, or even taken the story in a completely different direction.

It's fascinating to me that my stories are made up of my moods. They're totally dependent on when I write them, if I can get them down in one go or have to set them aside.

I'm not talking about good or bad moods here, just general head space. I'm realizing, through my writing, that it I'm changing slightly and constantly throughout the day and my writing is affected by it.

This realization isn't good or bad. Sometimes a story can benefit from a new angle, and sometimes the original feeling of it can be lost completely and it can suffer. I've come up for a solution for the latter. Music.

You know how when you listen to a song you haven't heard for a long time, it takes you right back to who you were when you listened to it all the time. You re-experience the same feelings and remember how you felt about life during that time. By choosing certain music to listen to while writing, a specific song for a specific story, one that I haven't listened to much in any other context, I can use it to take me right back to the same head space every time I work on that story.

I've always preferred quietude while I write, until I figured out this mood writing theory.  I've heard other writers talk about listening to music while they write and assumed it was for setting the mood of the story itself, but maybe they're setting the mood of their minds.

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