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Types of Moods in Writing

Every story, every textbook, and every other piece of writing has an “atmosphere” to it. This is what would be described as the mood of the writing. The words that we choose to use will typically if into one of the types of moods in writing. This is done to create emotions within the reader through the use of specific descriptive words.

This means the mood found in writing is going to be reflective of the emotion that you’re trying to produce in the reader as a writer.

How Many Moods Are There In Writing?

When we’re talking about the atmosphere of a story, what we’re really describing is the emotional impact that is expected from reading the piece. If you want people to smile, then you’d write words that make the reader smile. If you want people to feel sad, then your writing would need to be reflective of this as well.

Otherwise the composition of the story is going to feel awkward for the reader. Having someone experiencing the best day of their life by sitting in their room, crying their eyes out, isn’t going to make sense if there isn’t an explanation involved.

This means you’ll find two basic moods are available to writers today. Following these basic moods can help to generate the response that is desired from the reader.

Why Are There Only 2 Moods?

When you look at the average English writing class, you’ll find that most instructors will say that there are only two generic moods: positive and negative. Positive moods would be described as being energetic, empowered, or enlightened. Negative moods would be described as being nervous, morose, or horrified. Then these emotional keywords and their synonyms would be sprinkled throughout the text to set the atmosphere of the piece.

For basic writing principles, this is a good first learning step. Yet what makes humanity so beautiful is the fact that we are emotionally complex beings. Love, for example, can be either a positive mood or a negative mood. Sometimes it can be both simultaneously. Sometimes people feel apprehension not because they’re in a bad mood, but because they’re so excited to get started with something new.

Starting with 2 moods is a good place to begin practicing how you set the atmosphere of a story as a beginning writer. Just don’t settle for being “positive” or “negative” in every piece that you write.

Does This Mean There Are Unlimited Moods?

In writing, the atmosphere of an entire piece can vary from scene to scene. This is reflective of our daily lives. Let’s say it’s Monday and you know you’ve got a ton of work to do and an angry boss waiting for you. Those moments when you start your morning routine, not really wanting to go to work – that mood would likely be called “dread.”

Now let’s say you get to work and discover that your boss called off for the day because of a nasty cold. The next mood you’d be experiencing would likely be “relief.” Some might even feel sorry for their boss, which would create the mood of “pity.”

Now let’s say that because the boss called off for the day, the work which was assigned to you is now going to be assigned to someone else. You’ve now been left with a day of casual paperwork to do instead of a high-pressure assignment. This mood could be “disappointment” because some people thrive on high-pressure assignments. Others might feel more “relief.” Some might feel “joy.”

The human experience goes through varying levels of positive and negative experiences every day. This is just who we are. For writing to be realistic, the mood of any writing must also be equally complex. So sure – we can break it down into generic positive and negative atmospheres, but we are much more than that.

Non-Fiction and Moods in Writing

Moods are often associated with fictional writing, but non-fiction writing also has moods in it as well. With the right type of mood included in the text, the information becomes easier to absorb by the reader. If the writer is excited by the subject material, then that excitement will rub-off on the reader to create a fun experience.

The reverse is also true. If there isn’t passion behind the subject matter, then the reader isn’t going to care about what has been written.

The types of moods in writing will usually come naturally to the writer as they are composing the piece. As long as you’re keeping your characters realistic or distributing facts with a certain enthusiasm, then the emotions they experience will help to set the right atmosphere for your piece. Think about how you feel when experiencing the emotions you want to put into your writing and write about those experiences.

If you can do that, then you can be consistent with your moods in writing.

Melissa G Wilson

Melissa has been a leader in the book writing, publishing and marketing arena for the past two decades. To date, she has helped more than 100 thought leaders write, publish and market their books. Her clients include executives such as Dan Weinfurter a seven-time Inc 500 winner and Orlando Ashford, President of Holland Cruise Lines.

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