Thursday, May 5, 2016

Mood Writing

You ever get mad?  Hopped up about something?  Just get in a generally pissy mood?  I have, and it occurred to me recently that such a mood can be dangerous when writing.

I refer to it as “getting my blood up,” and it can be caused by a number of different things.  Maybe I read a Facebook post that I vehemently disagreed with.  Perhaps some schmuck was on TV saying something idiotic.  Or possibly I was a clumsy oaf in my kitchen and knocked a plate off the counter, shattering it into a million pieces.  Whatever the cause, it short circuits the divide between by emotions and my logic, making me prone to react instead of think.

Obviously, this can affect how and what we write.  When I’m in a mood, I rarely think about the ramifications of what I’m saying.  Instead, I’ll simply write something off the cuff because it makes me feel good.  This can work while writing…if the character we’re writing about is also supposed to be in a pissy mood.  However, transferring Wolverine’s passion to Spock’s mind rarely produces anything coherent.  It makes a mess of what we wanted, and once we calm down, we have to re-write it.

We’re all capable of getting mad.  However, I strongly encourage you to stay away from your computer when you get like that.  Read a book, take a walk, do something that will let you decompress.  Just as we shouldn’t write an email to our co-workers when we’re upset, we shouldn’t engage in writing a story while worked up either.  We should use emotion as a driving force to get us writing, but it can’t be the main driving force when we’re in the midst of our story.  We’ll forget plot points, character relationships, and a whole host of other things that make our work special.

So settle down.  We all get pissed from time to time.  That doesn’t mean we have to tell the world about it – they usually won’t appreciate our delivery.

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