Discussion Mood and writing styles

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by moosemousse, May 30, 2011.

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  1. moosemousse CR - FF:UK South

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2004
    star 6
    I guess this is broader than just moods, but I thought it'd make the subject too long so I just left it at that. What this thread is really about is how your mood and events in your life change the way you write. I've written some dark stuff before, with one novella featuring a lot of dark themes, but with the birth of my nephew (who's just perfect in every way) I'm finding myself wanting to write about happy things and babies and such. I don't feel any less depressed than I was, but my nephew has warmed the cockles of my heart. Looking back at past works it's easy to think 'well, I wrote that because of what was happening at the time' but it's not really been apparent at the time, except for now.

    Does your writing style change to reflect your mood or what's going on in your life? Do you write about things as a way of dealing with them or perhaps getting a different, if fictional, view on things?
  2. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Jul 20, 2002
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    I haven't seen any long-term trends with my writing, but I do tend to write according to what I'm feeling at the moment. If I'm sad or angry, it's much easier to write something depressing, but if I'm in a good mood, I'm more inclined to write something happy or funny or romantic; I don't want to depress myself.
  3. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    This is pretty much me. If I'm sad or angry, it's easier to write a character who is feeling that way. But at the same time, writing is an escape for me, so I don't tend to write a lot of dark stuff, particularly with longer pieces. I can do a dark vignette but I don't want to write a dark novel that leaves me thoroughly depressed with each scene. Even when I'm depressed myself, writing dark stuff with sad endings just makes it worse.
  4. LaForzaViva Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2008
    star 1
    I'd say that any kind of emotion past neutral changes what I write, and maybe if I look over my work when it's finished, I might even notice certain words and verbs playing out more prominently. I do know for sure that when I'm very angry or frustrated (usually due to grad school or my life in general) I can get out my best action scenes. And in my latest work, I wrote one very emotional chapter and my writing style was quite different during it; even when I reread that section, I remember just how upset I was when I wrote it and you can really tell. Another time I was waiting for my mom to go through surgery and I wrote an eleven page vignette about two fighter pilots, and that definitely affected what I wrote.

    I think it's only natural for a writer to use his or her current emotions to enliven a scene or sequence. I mean, I know that I get writer's block when I'm not really 'feeling' the work, but sometimes an emotion during the day will trigger a thought/plot point and I'll need to rush home and write before I lose that sense of needing to do it.
  5. DarthIshtar Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 9
    I'm sort of your opposite, moose. My darkest stuff has been from my happiest years. My mood in writing is whatever comes to mind and most of the time, it is not happiness and light, no matter how much good stuff is going on. Conversely, I have written some great humor during things like unemployment or illness.
  6. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
    Great topic, moose. :)

    I suppose I'm the opposite. Whenever an emotion is overwhelming me, I use writing to conjure the opposite, and I'm usually aware of what I'm doing. When I was brutally depressed I used to write a lot of humour fics. When I'm bored I write romance, and when I'm feeling overwhelmed I write complicated (but logical!) plotlines.

    I don't do that as much now as I used to, because I'm much happier than I've been in years, and I don't feel the need to manage my emotions so much. I don't have time to write as often as I did, but when I do, the mood of the story usually reflects what I'm feeling instead of the opposite.
  7. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Sometimes, I will frame a story's event in the same light as with whatever is going on in my own life, even if the events are vastly different. It just helps to sort things out. For my recent, stuff, however... I'm honestly not sure. Mostly what I write are character studies. I like to see what makes the characters tick, I get into their heads, crawl around a bit, and see what I can find. My recent finished stuff have been psychodramas and social commentary, mainly because I simply like to write those. I have an interest in abnormal psychology, criminal justice, and sociology, and thus my writing will reflect it. And depending on the story, my mood usually doesn't affect it like it had in the past. However, if I'm feeling a bit stressed out, it does help to write a fight scene. It's a nice release.
  8. mavjade It's so Fluffy Fanfic & New Movies Manager

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    Sep 10, 2005
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    Mood does effect my writing but I think it effects more whether I write or not.

    I pretty much always write angst, even most of my happy stuff has angstiness to it unless I force myself to purposely write something completely happy and fluffy and that takes some work. I think I write what I like to read and that is mostly angst and hurt/comfort. I guess when I'm in a darker mood it might get angstier but I'm not quite sure, I'll have to pay more attention.

  9. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I love hurt/comfort so I write a lot of that no matter what sort of mood I'm in. For my longer pieces, I have to force myself to mix up genres; action/adventure is a struggle for me. I do find it easier to write action, especially when there is violence involved, when I'm in a pissy mood.

    Several years ago when I was in a much darker place in my personal life than I am now, I wrote a lot of humor, so there may be something to writing the opposite of how one personally feels. And it just gave me a lift to know that I could make people laugh. I write more serious pieces now, but I pretty much never write tragic stories with sad endings, simply because I feel depressed after reading/writing such a story and writing is an escape for me.
  10. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
    What drives me nuts is that I like to think I'm good at coming up with plot lines and filling plot holes, but my ideas are usually pretty dark. And then when it comes down to writing these things happening to my characters, I just can't do it. :p I have yet to be able to write a truly sad story.
  11. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    Great topic, Moose! :D

    I am most at peace when I have a writing project that I'm engaged in. I write to examine issues that concern or trouble me and so I can examine my perceptions. I'm told I write 'heavy' stuff often by friends. I would agree as I deal with hard topics a lot. This is because I use writing to face fears and gain fresh insight.

    I often write opposite to my mood. If I'm sad/troubled I write a piece about hope. If, say a news story strikes a chord with me, I may add a similar scene into my story so it can have a happy ending. I seem to write chiefly dramas. I think this is because I'm contemplative and serious-matured. I also write straight from the heart.

  12. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
    I suppose that because I keep a diary, I like to think that I have most of my issues sorted out by the time I get to writing fiction. :p Probably not, though.

    I write mostly humour with an undercurrent of sadness to it, and usually involving someone coping with failure. I seem to find that kind of thing hilarious... make of that what you will!
  13. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    On being contemplative--I am as well, and I especially enjoy political and social commentary. I'm also a bit of an idealist, and I will write scenes and outcomes as I think they should be, while trying to keep the scenes and outcomes from becoming unrealistic, if that makes sense.
  14. Cushing's Admirer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2006
    star 6
    Anakinsfansice1983: Yes, I do likewise. Yet, my friend who is a true 'got to keep it real' type constantly tells me that I'm basically dreaming...which according to the current standards of society, I am. But, I refuse to compromise my desire to create an uplifting, encouraging tale that hopefully makes my readers think to 'keep it real'.

    I love feeling like I can sink my teeth into a story--film or book, but it's rare to find true depth anymore especially with a positive message/ending. This is what I strive for in my tales but I have my characters experience rocky paths so that they might grow and change. I, likewise grow and change as a person through my writing process. :)

    Ubersue: Writing a diary/journal has always scared me. I think I feel it's too personal. My characters reflect my traits in a lot of ways but directly writing myself holds no appeal. I think I use fiction and fantasy because I can be more creative and I feel safer.
  15. TrakNar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2011
    star 5
    Hoo boy... diaries. Honestly, can't say I've ever written any and the thought of writing one seems like it would prove to be an interesting challenge. Though, since I like my main characters off-kilter and with exoskeletons, then I can only imagine how one would turn out. Certainly a way to get the sporadic only-when-the-muse-strikes-us writers to become a bit more prolific, though.
  16. kataja Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2007
    star 4
    The more tired I am, the more mushy I tend to write. Mush doesn't necessaritly need that much thinking, you just flow with the current. The mood can be bright or sad - it doesn't really matter that much 'cos if the fic takes a nice turn my mood usually goes up too. But of course I've written sad stuff when I've been in a melancholic mood too.

    For me, my mood decides more what character I can write about. Luke and Mara work any time but otehrs, like Palps, f.ex. I need to be in a special mood to write ok. This far, I haven't been able to pin down what kind of mood that is, but I can't be tired, that's for sure. :p
  17. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    As mavjade said, mood mostly affects whether or not I actually write, not what I write.

    That said, my somewhat impulsive nature has affected how I write -- that is to say, I don't pre-plot my stories. I typically go in with a general idea of what the plot is, who the (starting) characters are, and the setting, then just go wherever my muse takes me. Often have I started a story with a basic cast of main characters only to end it with a few more added in, or to have an idea that ends up taking the story in an entirely different course through to its ultimate climax and resolution. Somehow it always (to me, at any rate) seems to work out, as I'm able to weave all these new threads into a coherent storyline; it might not end up fantastic on the first draft, but going back and tinkering usually sorts it. The reason why I stick with this method is because to me, it seems more real; life is ever-changing and mostly unpredictable, and I have found that this is a great way to reflect that.

    Perhaps the biggest drawback to this approach is that I wind up with a bunch of story beginnings that never really go anywhere. Sometimes, though, I'll pick back up on one and see it through the rest of the way -- again, this can be affected by mood as much as anything.

    As for the mood of my stories, I stay away from dark and brooding and tend to embrace dynamic interaction. My talents seem to be centered around military fiction, which is great for the Star Wars universe because, well, it's Star Wars! That, and I happen to be very good at analyzing battles, wars and other conflicts, and applying military terminology to various scenes, dialogue, and whatnot. As any military vet will tell you, there's no time to brood when the bullets are flying and the shells are screaming down. Knowing the history of warfare and having some small experience with how humans can react when faced with the choice of 'kill or be killed,' the camaraderie of soldiers -- of any tight-knit group, for that matter -- is something that greatly appeals to me. It's something that a lot of folks can sympathize with, and that's important to me -- and to the success of any story I write.

    Alrighty, that concludes my highly emotional rant. :_|;)
  18. Commander-DWH Shiny Costuming & Props Manager

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    Nov 3, 2003
    star 4
    I'm also with mav- the what doesn't tend to change drastically, but sometimes when my mood is sour enough it's hard to write. Sometimes I can put that energy into writing particular kinds of scenes, but if it's too much, then even writing doesn't help. Still, every now and then I use my writing to work out my own personal problems, and to anyone who knows me well enough, it's obvious when that's happening.
  19. Ubersue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 1, 2008
    star 3
    I've kept a diary since I was about eleven, and it's still scary. :p I think that-- personal benefits aside-- it helps my writing because it gives me a lot of practice in describing moods and ways of thinking. It's one thing to be able to get into a character's head, but it's another to describe what it's in there; I've found that keeping a diary helps with that tremendously.

    Mind you, if I get hit by a truck tomorrow, I feel sorry for whoever reads what's on my hard drive. [face_laugh] I ought to put a disclaimer on the file.

    Keeping a diary hasn't made me insanely prolific by any means, but I occasionally get an idea for a vignette while I'm ranting about, say, work. :)

    And I love the idea of a character with an exoskeleton keeping an emo teenage diary. [face_laugh] Thanks for the plot bunny! :D
  20. Goodwood Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2011
    star 4
    Hmmm, diaries. Somehow I missed that topic in my initial reply to this thread.

    I've got a couple of characters who would make some good fodder for a diary; it would certainly flesh out their character a bit. And since a few of them are non-humans, there's even more caverns to explore...
  21. Etain Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 11, 2008
    star 3
    Diaries - I never keep it up. I can read enough of my life in my stories. I am currently keeping a journal for others to read as I stay overseas. Not sure if anybody realy botehrs because nobody ever says a word (except of thsoe who get accounts of things anyway and wouldn't have to bother). Maybe my mind is not a nice thing to read about from outside. I think this very possible.

    My mood does often affect what and how I write. About once amonth things get bloody and desperate. Lately I felt the urge tow rite hugs, so I did. It is of advantage to have areal long story ahead of you into which you can put all the otherwise useless bits. I am considering getting the character beaten up severly currently, because I'd like to write some of that. (Rescue included)

    It also works the other way round for me. If I do not write, my moods become unbearable. [face_blush]
  22. SithGirl132 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 6, 2005
    star 4
    I can definitely see my moods in my writing- when I'm really in a bad mental place (which has been the case on and off for the last eight years), I tend to be a lot darker and go into darker things in my writing. I've been on such a long angst/Sith/Imperial kick in my fanfic lately, which ties in well to some of my moods. And oh, my angsty middle school and high school journals. What took me so long to figure out that I wasn't quite right in the head during much of that time? [face_blush]
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