While tone reflects an author’s attitude toward what she’s written, mood refers to the reaction, or feeling, that readers get from the written work.
In fiction, the tone, theme, plot, setting, and characterizations all help set the mood. Each scene should reflect the point of view character’s emotions, and focus on details or actions that help readers relate to them. For example, a scene may feel suspenseful, romantic, mysterious, or humorous, depending on what’s happening to the characters.
Even though the mood can change from scene to scene, one mood should be dominant throughout the story. There can be elements of romance or humor in a suspense novel, or suspenseful moments in a romance novel, but each genre requires a particular element to be emphasized.
Even though nonfiction books and articles are based on facts, readers will react to the mood they create. The subject, the details that are focused on, the author’s tone, and the style of the writing all work together to create a particular mood.
So, what was your mood after the last book you read? What do you do to put yourself in the mood to write, or to make your reading experience more enjoyable? Do you ever get angry while reading a story?