Setting the Mood

I’ve been wanting to blog about this since Ad Astra, and I forgot until now…

One of the panelists said something that really made sense for me, and I’ve been experimenting with it ever since. He said that when he sits down to write, he sets the mood – with scent. He has a specific candle for specific projects. “That’s brilliant!” said the psychologist in me. The sense that is most closely tied to memory is scent; it’s so logical!

Now most people who know me rather well are aware that I have a candle fetish to begin with, so it’s not like I really needed another excuse to buy more of them, but it is a way to put the ones I have to good use! My WIP is complex in terms of setting, taking place on a total of thirteen worlds, all with very different geography. Writing a scene on the world where there are fields and meadows? I burn my “Spring Meadows” candle. On the ocean world? “Sea Breeze” it is. You can see where I’m going with this.

There are other things I was already doing to get myself in the right frame of mind for whatever project I’m working on, and I’m keeping up with those too. The background on my iPod and my Netbook are images from the world I’m writing in. My writing playlist du jour is specific to the scene I’m writing, taken from the extensive instrumental music libraries that I have on my iPod and Netbook (see the “Writing Playlist” link on top of this page for examples).

Does anyone else have tricks for getting in the right mood for their current writing project?

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