Do you remember the feeling of falling in love for the first time? God I do. It was a completely blissed-out ride on a ton of happy hormones. It was feeling stupid happy with a really doofy grin on my face all the time. Damn that was fun.
Sometimes I want to relive that, well, the feeling at least. (My husband might have something to say about me falling in love again with someone else.) But the cool thing is that I can get it and not rock my marriage apple cart. It’s not always easy to find, but sometimes I can find it in a book. And when I find one of those books, one that brings back that same fantastic feeling, I don’t want to finish it. I don’t want the feeling to end. I want more from that writer.
That was the kind of book I wanted to write. One that transported my readers back to their high school days and all the wonderful (and a few not so great) feelings that went along with it. I wanted to write something that someone would pick up after a particularly trying week that would make them laugh and sigh and bliss out and OK, cry some too. From all the reviews of “Burnouts, Geeks & Jesus Freaks: a love story” and “Popstars, Friends & Lovers: a dreamer’s tale” I think I accomplished that.
Mood or feeling is one of the top reasons someone picks a book but it’s often overlooked in the writing process.
As a writer I know it is easy to get caught up in the mechanics of what I am doing. I get focused on grammar or sentence structure or plot points and get all tangled up in the details and lose sight of the big picture, of the mood I want to create, of how I want my readers to feel.
I’ve found a fantastic writing guide called, “Wired for Story” by Lisa Cron. It’s about the psychology behind what readers are looking for in a story, how the brain works when someone is reading a story, and how to develop your own story for maximum reading pleasure. I’m only halfway finished reading it but it has already made a major impact on the way I am creating and developing my next series. It has helped me focus more on the aspects that will pull my readers in and less on things that can be a distraction or even irritate a reader. I’ve had a few LOL moments when Ms. Cron points out common mistakes that I’ve made or read that leave readers wondering “what just went wrong here?
I love the fact that self publishing has given so many aspiring writers, like myself, the opportunity to offer their stories to readers. But in the crowded chaos stories can start to sound the same. One plot can sound a lot like so many others. When that happens the way to distinguish your work is through mood or feeling. There can be hundreds of stories about first love but the one that captures that giddy feeling and conveys it to the readers will be the one that stands out.
So, what are your mood books? Do you have a favorite book or author that you always go to when you are looking for a certain feeling?