Can an attitude adjustment make your story better?

Well, maybe. Sometimes just like kids our characters need an attitude adjustment. 

A change in attitude at our house could save my kids a world of grief. And me a lot of aggravation. Parents reading this know exactly what I’m talking about. wooden-spoon-adjustment

The mood in our house could go from calm and peaceful to stormy in zero to sixty seconds if someone couldn’t find their shoes or if one of their siblings “stole” a favorite toy.

If only I had a dollar every time I’ve said, “Watch your tone, young lady.” or “Child, you better change that attitude.” I’d be very rich.

Why am I talking about tone and atmosphere?

Because I’m learning how important it is to put these two things at the beginning of a story.

I’m currently reading Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules Kindle Edition by Steven James and one of the things he talks about is setting the tone and atmosphere for the story. 

Mr. James explains the reader becomes enmeshed in their surroundings from page one. So it’s important to set the stage early, to create a mood, and tone that is consistent with promises you’ve made to the reader.

In a story, we establish the mood through the setting. Such as in music, layout, weather, room decor, lights, etc.

The tone is something else. That is conveyed through dialog. The voice, dialect, rhythm, and style that tells the story.

“You better change your tone girl.” Another admonishment my daughter has heard me say a few hundred times. In a few clipped words, she could convey acid like sarcasm that’d peel paint from the wall.

Image result for attitude adjustment maxine meme

I’m not even half-way through Mr. James book but I can tell you it will find a permanent place in my library.

What do you think about setting the tone and establishing the mood as we write? 

Do you have a tip that would help set the atmosphere? Do share!

Another great article on creating mood click:  Creating the mood of a story: 5 tips for strong atmosphere at Now Novel

Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by [James, Steven]
Click and read a sample
 I’d love to hear from you! Click the “write me” tab or contact me on Twitter @jeancogdell,Facebook at jean.cogdell and Amazon.com, stop by and say hey! The lights are on, and I’m waiting.

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