This article on Capturing Mood appeared in WQ Magazine's August 2013 edition.
‘My task, which I am trying to achieve, is by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel - it is, above all, to make you see.’ Joseph Conrad.
At writers’ festivals, I am often asked about creating mood in fiction. Mood is what the reader feels when he or she reads a story. It’s an emotional response to a scene. Communicating mood is important whatever your genre. But how does an author achieve it?
Let me home in on my genre - thrillers. Thriller heroes (or heroines) are, as Dean Koontz says, characters in ‘terrible trouble’. The hero must battle an adversary and risk his or her life to stop something terrible. Readers expect high stakes, plot twists and a rewarding, dramatic climax. More often than not, good conquers evil, and the world is righted back on its axis again, even if that world may have changed.
Good thrillers are a roller-coaster ride of emotions for the reader. Moods change quickly. As James Patterson...