Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rain or shine - it's all about perspective...

We reached 87 in Minnesota.

Today, the sun felt too hot and the air too humid. On a different day, the heat wouldn't have bothered me. I would have grabbed a cold glass of water and said, "see, this isn't so bad." But I'd had one of those days. You know, the kind when things just don't go as planned. So my mood was a bit off and it influenced how I felt about the early summer day.

This is something I consider with my characters all the time when I'm writing. Using their reaction to the world around them to show how they're feeling.

When I originally planned my topic for today, I'd written the same paragraph two different ways exploring what I could show about a character's mood. This is what I came up with:

Scene #1: Not that she wouldn't mind a bit of sun but the clouds didn't bother her. Today, the solid ceiling of vibrant, marbled-gray sky comforted her. She felt safe below them like she did in her cozy studio apartment on a cold winter day.

Scene #2: Blast. What did a girl have to do to see a little sun? Maybe she'd have to pull out that light therapy lamp from the back of her tiny closest in her equally tiny apartment. She'd take anything because the solid ceiling of drab, marbled-gray sky was closing in on her. Suffocating her.

I find it interesting how our emotions can change how we perceive the things around us. As a writer, I love exploring the different ways a setting can support and enrich a story.

Until next month,


Mona Risk said...

Joie, what a grteat excercise. I love both of your blurbs. The second is even better because it shows exactly her feelings rather than telling about them.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I agree, Joie, mood can change the way you perceive everything. We've had an extraordinary winter here in supposedly sunny California. Yesterday it snowed and hailed...what a mood changer that can be when you are expecting some mode of Spring around you. On the days we had sunshine and warmth I can get so much done and love doing my writing. I guess I can use the gloom of no sun as a good excuse to vegetate and not do much. I know, when it does get hot I will complain, but right now a wee bit of heat and sunshine would be most welcome.

Enjoyed reading your blurbs!!

Amy said...

I love it when you get a glimpse into the character through their observations of the weather and scene around them!

One of my favorite authors takes it one step further and gives the weather a personality, as well, having the wind lift ladies' skirts just to annoy them. :-) Or the breeze slip chilly fingers down the backs of their necks...

I just hope we can stave off the heat a while longer--hot weather is no friend of mine!

Marilu Mann said...

This would make a GREAT Thought Of The Week on the loop. Loved this, Joie!

Jill James said...

Joie, awesome way to see things. Our reactions say so much about us.

Joanne said...

Moods and emotions color the way we look at everything. Great, thought-provoking post!