Mood in Writing

As I explained a few posts back, I've been creating scene maps for my WIP. I'm writing this book in three acts with about 20 scenes per act. So far these maps have been incredibly useful. Identifying the purpose of each scene has allowed me to see that some of the scenes I've planned weren't necessary. The maps have also allowed me to strategically place bits of exposition so that I'm not dumping too much in one scene. I try to drop exposition one or two scenes before that information becomes an essential part of the plot; that way the reader feels familiar with it by the time it's important.

Another thing that's been very useful is identifying the mood of each scene. This is usually the last piece of the map I complete, after I've written out the plot description. Never before have I actually written down the mood for a scene. Having it right in front of me is a good reminder as I write. Knowing the mood guides my choices for pacing, sentence structure, dialogue, even colors. However, coming up with the right word for a mood can be tricky.

I Googled "mood in writing" and found a decent list. I crossed out the moods I thought I'd never use (how do you even write a scene with a mood that's "flirty"?) and I've been adding new moods and organizing them by category. The moods aren't consistent when it comes to tense - I think that just has to do with the fact that "mood" in writing can be hard to define. You sort of just know it when you read it. In my list, just as the color indicates, moods are listed vertically from least to most extreme.