Setting the Mood

When we think about the phrase “setting the mood,” we generally think about romance, but mood isn’t just for romance novels. It’s the author’s job to set the mood in any novel they write. In a horror novel, the reader expects a creepy, frightening setting. In romance, the author needs to set a mood conducive to falling in love. In a fantasy novel, mood is especially important. A novel about magical fairies is going to have a different feeling than a fast-paced epic adventure where the characters set out on a dangerous quest.

How do we set the mood? Of course, setting is important and probably one of the quickest ways to establish mood in a story. The plot, characters, dialogue–every aspect of your story helps create that special mood that makes your book unique.

As a writer, how do you set the mood for your writing? Do you listen to music in order to get into a certain state of mind? Does the music you listen to vary scene-by-scene, chapter-by-chapter?

I hope you enjoy this mood-evoking song by Clint Black. He’s one of my all-time favorite Country singers. Listen to the lyrics and think about setting the mood in your next masterpiece.

7 thoughts on “Setting the Mood

  1. Excellent post. I definitely use music to set the mood, but it varies scene by scene, sometimes paragraph by paragraph. I try to listen to music the most when I am planning a scene. Then I get the music stuck in my head by the time I start writing, which is how I prefer it.


  2. I’ll listen to music and it’s mostly Irish music, mostly. I find that Irish music helps me focus more on my writing than any other type of music. It especially this way when I’m writing fantasy.


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