How To Write Mood In A Scene

This past weekend I was blessed to spend with other writers at the Great Lakes Get Away. There is nothing better than the atmosphere of wordsmithers and Lake Superior.


Great Lakes Get Away 2013

.Photo         Photo

        Mindy Peltier &         Heather Edwards, Julie Klassen.
         Michelle Lim                 & Rachel Britz

Photo    Photo

       Delores Topliff, Susan May                  Naomi Munsch

                Warren & Ruth S.


One of the things I learned on a deeper level this weekend is how to create the mood in a scene.

A few tips I learned from Susan May Warren:

*Listen to mood music. An example above would be if you wanted to write a sad scene. This music would put you in the right frame of mind. 

*Define the one emotion from the scene. Emotions have different hues. They are not all exactly the same. Happy can be giddy, joyful, ecstatic, etc. They all look a bit different.

*Brainstorm verbs and words that paint that kind of picture. This list of words can be written down before you even start the scene to give you ideas.

*Utilize objects in the scene to create a metaphor. This is a symbol of what is happening for the character, the emotion. This should NOT be a metaphor of how your body responds. For example: A bird like flutter pounded in her chest. These kinds of metaphors are confusing and don’t draw attention to the interaction of the character with the scene.

*Start in the Character’s Thoughts. By starting a scene in the character’s thoughts we can often get the mood of the scene. 

*Have character’s notice the setting through the eyes of their mood. The movie Twister is an excellent example of this.

Notice when they get to the barn and they see all of the sharp tools. In a different type of scene that would create a different feeling, but that is what she noticed at that moment and it creates the mood of fear.

If you apply all of these components to your scene it will help create a mood that your reader is captured by.

What do you do to capture the mood in your scenes? OR What is your favorite mood scene in a movie?


About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

2 thoughts on “How To Write Mood In A Scene

  1. Great tips. Love this music! Bookmarking your page. 🙂 Wish I could’ve been there with you all.

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