Mood Writing

Every week, Middle Son has to write sentences using his spelling words.  He’s a pretty sharp kid and a good writer for being in second grade.  He’s also a moody child with a half empty glass. 

Last night he diligently wrote his sixteen sentences then went to bed.  DH and read over his homework and laughed our tails off.

“Tony kicked Kallie.”

“Kallie got nailed.”

“I got pounded.”

“She shouted.”

I don’t know if his spelling words themselves elicited such violence or if Middle was in a funk. 

But it got me wondering.  How much of our writing is affected by our moods?

For instance, I imagine writing a murder scene would be extremely difficult if I was feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.  Likewise, a romantic scene would probably suffer if my dog just died.  I don’t even like to think what might appear on paper if someone knocked on my garage door.

How does your mood affect the flavor of your writing?  Do you have days when everything is pounded, nailed and kicked even when they aren’t supposed to be?  How do you balance your mood with your end product?

12 responses to “Mood Writing

  1. I wrote the “dying scene” on a commuter train. I was weeping like a fool. The lady across the table patted my hand and told me everything would turn out okay.

    • Peter, I hope everything did turn out okay–for you, the lady on the train and your MC’s. I’ve been known to cry a time or two while writing as well and think that it’s normal. Or at least as normal as us writers get : )

  2. LOL I see your son won’t have much of an editing problem – he’s definitely pared down and to the point. Nothing extraneous there! I think my mood only affects whether I write or not. As long as I’m sitting there, writing, I usually can tackle just about anything that needs to be written.

    • Good for you, Belle.

      I think you’re right–mood affects whether we write, not necessarily what we write. Interesting point. I’ll have to pay attention to my moods, productivity and finished product to see if there is a correlation between them all.

      Thanks for this comment~ cat

  3. Oh Peter…poor guy. Although, you do make me laugh whether you’re trying to or not.

    Cate, I have to wonder if we sometimes crawl so deep into our head with our characters, that that can effect our mood. (Incidentally, I hate using ‘that that’ like that) 😉 I can not write when tired. It’s just not gonna’ happen for me.

    • Lisa, you are almost as funny as Peter! That thats are almost as bad as do dos. Niether sounds right and is often cause for pause, then maniacal laughter.


      That’s an interesting view point. I can see how easy it is to become one with our characters and let their moods dicate the words we write. Another thing to keep track of in my little experiement.

      Now go get some sleep and write some more wonderful words!

  4. Love your son’s sentences! Hope the teacher laughs too 🙂

    My moods are pretty changeable – I slip into my characters’ moods relatively easily. Thank goodness! My kids tell me I make the matching faces as I type. If it’s a scary scene I tend to be bug-eyed. They find it funny!

  5. That’s cute. Thanks for sharing. My moods definitely effect my writing, but I try to make use of that. Last year I was in a romantic funk, so I started an erotic fantasy. (Blushing.) It’s NOT something ever meant to see the light of day, but it helped me at the time. I would not have written it listening to Metallica while feeling violent. LOL I save those moments for battle scenes. ;D Which is NOT to say that I wait for a mood to write. My moods are not that changeable, really, but I do listen to strong inclinations.

    • Victoria,

      Thanks for this perspective. My moods are fairly stable as well, but I am definitely affected by the music I listen to. In fact, I have sound tracks for most of my novels. Last year’s NaNo was Brother Bear. I loved the native feel of it and the calming cadence. Even the crescendos were helpful in feeling the rise and fall of my manuscript.

      Can’t say I’ve ever listened to Metallica while penning anything. I might have to try it just to see what happens!

  6. It’s a pretty simple notion – if you’re going to be effective in conveying an emotion, why not get “in the moment” when you’re doing it?

    (Chicks dig that sort of thing.)

    • Chicks dig lots of things. I think you would be a phenomenal person to meet face to face and hope someday at our Joint AQ signings we will have the opportunity!


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