Creating Mood (How to Write a Novel)

Posted on Dec 11 2012 at 10:45:48 AM in Literature

Beneath a sky bruised with black and purple clouds, a woman limped down an alley where only criminals or the very desperate would venture. The pavement was slick with slime; broken bottles and crushed beer cans littered the ground. Every now and then, she stepped over a used syringe.


The air in the alley carried a horrible stench of stale alcohol with a pleasant splash of raw vomit and human urine. Graffiti marked the walls; there were gang signs spray-painted in blood red, vulgar words scribbled in anger, and pornographic drawings.


The farther down she went, she realized why the alley was known as “The Valley of the Shadow of Death”. There were several ratty clothed individuals ambling about lifelessly. Their skin was as grey and pasty as the skin of a corpse, their eyes were dark hallows, their lips were cracked and bleeding, and their bones stuck out of their deprived bodies. They looked like they belonged in graves.




Mood is the atmosphere created by the setting and actions of the characters in it. The teaser in the beginning is an excerpt from the first book in my series and an excellent example of mood created by setting. In the excerpt, I depicted a dangerous alley where low lives go to drink and do drugs. The mood is dark and mysterious because I do not introduce or reveal the woman’s identity; it is also pitiful in regards to the state of the inhabitants of the alley.


For more on how to create mood go to:

  Article Information
Author: Chrys
Created: Dec 11 2012 at 10:45:48 AM
Updated: Dec 11 2012 at 10:45:48 AM
Category: Literature
Language: English