Today we go a little deeper into the Word-Pond that we call Story. In talking about literature, the word mood is sometimes used interchangeably with atmosphere. Like conjoined twins, mood and atmosphere march along together; separate, but intertwined so closely that they seem as one. Mood is long term in the background and makes the emotions evoked within the story specific. Atmosphere is also long term but is part of world-building. Atmosphere is the aspect of mood that setting conveys.
Emotion is immediate, short term. It exists in the foreground but works best when in conjunction with the overall atmosphere/mood.
Robert McKee, in his video seminars, tells us that emotion is the experience of transition, of the characters moving between a positive and negative.
While emotions are immediate, they can be subtle. I like books where emotions are dynamic, but where the character’s internal struggle becomes personal to me.
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