In the Mood? A Question of Atmosphere

It’s dark and dreak and dreary outside–rainy, foggy, damp; you get the idea. After all, it’s January in Oregon. It’s supposed to be grey and gloomy this time of year.

My current work in progress has a similar sort of somber and atmospheric tone going on in it too–think gloomy and dangerous marshes at dusk; that sort of thing.

So I’m all into it, editing my little heart out and here comes an anthology editor coming back with edits on another story, with a completely different kind of mood. Something more arid, dry, and big sky. And since the anthology story has a deadline, I’ve got to put down the misty haunt and re-prioritize.

I don’t know about you, but I find it pretty difficult to work on two different projects at the same time, and I finished this story in May of 2014. So how to change gears? Of course, reading through the story is part of it, and this editor had some brilliant insights that got me all excited about the story again; but I keep catching myself putting darker tones in my edits, tones that are too heavy. Ack!

I finally sat down and read the story aloud. That really got me into the protagonist’s head, and by the time I finished it, I was firmly back in her universe. From there, the edits came fast and I think the story is stronger for them.

So am I the only one? Tell me, what do you do when you’re working on two different works at the same time? How to you preserve or regain consistency of tone between the two?

Inquiring minds want to know.

This entry was posted in 2015, atmosphere, mood, Sharon Joss, tone and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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