Emily's Foundation, Week Two: Setting And Mood In Women's Fiction
Seeing The World Through The Eyes Of Your Character When setting the scene in Women's Fiction, ask yourself "How does my character see the scene?" We ask this question because, as a writer, we don't write a description simply for description's sake. First we set the scene; then we interpret it through the mood of the character.
Using This Image To Set The Scene And Add Mood The image for this prompt is quite compelling, but if you removed the woman and the girl, it would be boring. Even if we added the woman back in, it would be nowhere near as interesting. But when we add the young girl, suddenly it becomes quite dramatic and we can enhance it with one of many possible "Moods", all deriving either from the woman's or the girl's point of view.
How do you establish the mood for this picture? Is it tense or serene? Is this a quiet and loving scene? Are the woods a threatening place or a comfortable hiding place? Are they running from someone? Are they on a pleasant outing and stopped for lunch?
You set the scene and the mood by getting inside the point of view character's head, feelings, and thoughts.
What are they doing in the woods? Who is the point of view character? The child? The woman? Is the woman the child's mother or grandmother? Or, has she stolen the child?
You can't determine any of this just by looking at the scene from the outside and describing what you see. You have to become the point of view character and see the scene through her eyes. Once you've asked and answered questions such as these, step back and appraise this scene through her eyes, at this moment. This will greatly help you enhance the setting with mood!
Seeing The World Through The Eyes Of Your Character When setting the scene in Women's Fiction, ask yourself "How does my character see this scene?" We ask this question because, as a writer, we don't write a description simply for description's sake. First we set the scene; then we interpret it through the mood of the character.
How do you choose which character is the point of view character? You don't choose. Rather, which one is calling you? Write from her point of view. If it isn't flowing, write from another character's point of view.
Whenever you’re writing a scene, whether it's solely from your Imagination or from a Prompt plus your Imagination, remember to consider the scene through the eyes of your character, at this particular moment in her life, rather than through your own eyes.
The Benefits Of Using Picture Prompts I've added three more pictures above. Just click on an image to see it full-sized.
Using picture prompts to set your scene allows you to focus on adding mood from your imagination. Simply seeing the details of a time and place allows you to jump deeply into the mood.
To get started on this week's scene, use the picture at the top of the page as the prompt that leads you through Setting and Mood. Or, if any of these other three pictures interests you more than the one at the top, use it instead.
If you're having any problems writing this week's scene, you can call Emily at (914) 962-4432 to talk about what is slowing you down.