Tuesday, 30 March 2010

My First Draft

What makes a great novel? A complex, dynamic, seamless piece of work. A theme, a mood, and a style of writing that lasts the whole story.

However, one thing I've noticed when I edit my first draft is, because I write over a period of time, the writing takes on various moods. Mainly because I'm a moody person. One second I'm happy, the next I'm yelling. My husband has a saying: 'Wait ten minutes and her mood will change to grim.'

Well, actually, he doesn't say that, and if he does, it's not to my face. And rarely do I yell. More likely, I'll probably ignore you.

Kidding aside, you will notice that after watching a romantic movie, you'll be more likely to write romantic lines into your scene...even if it's a mystery novel. Or, if you've had a fight with your kids or spouce or mother-in-law, you'll tend to be more testy with your writing.

Also, even if you have an outline or a way you think the novel is headed, as you write, you discover new links and connections and you learn more about the characters as you go along.

If you like improving your writing skills as you write, you will find the ending in better form than when you started. That's why if writers want a solid, uniform piece of work, writers need to edit.

Does anyone else notice that their mood affects their writing?

15 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Ann - My mood definitely affects my writing. I wouldn't call myself moody, but I definitely find that my work is affected by what I'm going through. I agree with you, too, that it takes editing to smooth out that unevenness. Sometimes, though, I like to harness my moods. If I'm sad, then I can write a sad character or theme. If I'm angry, I can write an angry scene, etc.. I don't always plan that well, though ; ).

Jaydee Morgan said...

I've never noticed if it affects my writing. I'm going to pay attention in the future to see if it does.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Yes! All the time. But thats a good thing, right? I like to think my moods make my characters more real.

Lorel Clayton said...

I don't know if my mood affects the writing so much as what I learn as I go along. When I revise, I have to make the story and characters I have at the end match what's at the beginning (minus character development of course).

Modo B said...

For sure! It can be subtle at times, but it's there. I also notice the beginnings of my first drafts are often very different in tone than the ends because the deeper I get, the more in tune I become with the characters voice. Editing is key. I find the novel isn't really cohesive until draft three.

Mason Canyon said...

My mood also affects my reading. There are times when I can't read certain books no matter how hard I try. I just can't enjoy them so I have to wait until I'm in the mood to read that genre of books. Sometimes I need light and cozy mysteries and sometimes it's thrillers and other times even a little romance or fantasy.

Christi Goddard said...

My mood only affects if I write or not. When I'm in a good mood and feeling productive, I write. When I'm pissy, I just read or watch a movie. Parts of my story are dark, others are comical, but they are semi-planned that way (since I don't outline. I go with a vague idea of what I want to achieve).

Jim Murdoch said...

Of course it does. What I do is to go back a few pages from where I want to start writing and read what I've written up to that point to get the tone and pace right and to ensure that the piece flows from beginning to end. Just because you sit down in one mood doesn't mean you have to stay in that mood. It can be changed. And if it can't then do something else. There's always something else needing doing.

Aubrie said...

My mood definitely affects how much I write. And how flowery it is!

Sugar said...

I agree..Mood will affect writing..It is a personal thing, so why wouldn't it? I have been in a crappy, stressed mood lately, so my writing is either halted or very hard to get going. Angry even. It's a good point thank you for bringing it up. I'm glad I'm not alone. :)

Terry Odell said...

I'm with Mason. Mood affects my reading too. I also have to be careful what I'm reading when I'm writing because I fear that there will be 'bleed-through.'

Terry
Terry's Place

Southpaw said...

Ah, yes. I guess that’s why we end up revising once or twice (or more). :) I’ve also noticed that some areas are detailed and well-thought out while other areas just barely get the point across and need an overhaul.

Laura Marcella said...

Interesting post. I haven't noticed whether or not moods affect my writing. I'm eager to find out. Hmmm, maybe that's why a current story I'm revising doesn't seem to be working out just right. Perhaps there's a hidden mood influencing it in some way.

KarenG said...

Oh how I love your definition of what makes a great novel! I'm going to write that down in my quote book. It is awesome!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I guess I only notice my mood when it keeps me from writing. I'm going to try to pay more attention to how my moods affect my writing in the future.