What is Mood in Literature? Creating Mood in Writing

what is mood in literature?

When we talk about the different feelings that a work of writing evokes, we’re talking about the types of mood in literature. Creative writers are experts at drawing out specific sensations in their writing. When a poem or story leaves you feeling elated, nervous, hopeful, melancholy, or any other particular emotion, then the writer has…

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“Show, Don’t Tell” in Creative Writing

show dont tell the golden rule of writing

“Show, don’t tell” is one of the simplest guidelines in creative writing, and one of the most helpful. In short, it encourages writers to transmit experiences to the reader, rather than just information. “Show, don’t tell” encourages writers to transmit experiences to the reader, rather than just information. “Show, don’t tell” is not just a…

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What is a Foil Character? Exploring Contrast in Character Development

creating contrasting characters

A foil character, or character foil, is a character whose actions and traits contrast those of another character—often the protagonist. The foil character is like a white background against a subject in a photograph: it allows the complexities of another character to shine forth, because the reader sees more vividly how one character’s actions and…

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Juxtaposition Definition: What is Juxtaposition in Literature?

juxtaposition definition: what is juxtaposition in literature

Juxtaposition occurs any time a writer places multiple ideas or images next to each other, without drawing a clear relationship between them. It is, in other words, the art of encouraging inference, because juxtaposition encourages the reader to draw their own conclusions about the relationships between different things. Juxtaposition is a wildly underrated tool in…

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Learn to Write! 8 Tips on Learning How to Write

How to learn to write professionally

Learning to write is a process, one that requires consistent hard work and determination—and perhaps some magic! But, as with any other skill, it’s important to work hard on the right thing. Instead of providing a list of pointers on how to learn to write for general purposes, this guide will offer eight key tips…

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Word Play: Examples of a Play on Words

wordplay definition

It goes without saying that writers are drawn to language, but because we love words so much, the English language is filled with word play. By interrogating the complexities of language—homophones, homographs, words with multiple meanings, sentence structures, etc.—writers can explore new possibilities in their work through a play on words. It’s easiest to employ…

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Irony Definition: Different Types of Irony in Literature

irony definition

What is irony? Well, it’s like rain on your wedding day. It’s a free ride, when you’ve already paid. ’90s radio is helpful here. Okay; but what is irony? It can often be easier to point to specific ironies than to find a definition of irony itself that hits home. Irony involves contradiction of our…

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Writing Styles: What is Style in Writing?

writing style

Writing style may be a bit hard to point to directly, but something clearly separates Hemingway from Steinbeck, Atwood from LeGuin, or Keats from Wordsworth. Though two given writers might dwell on similar themes, each writer will express a unique writing style, through elements like word choice, narrative structure, and the author’s own voice. So…

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Interview: Barbara Henning’s “Ferne: A Detroit Story”

ferne a detroit story

Equal parts biography, fiction, and an ode to family and Detroit, Barbara Henning‘s Ferne: a Detroit Story captures the Midwestern magic of mid-century Michigan. Barbara retells the life of her mother, Ferne, through a series of vignettes, news clippings, photographs, and biographical details, fleshing out the contours of Ferne’s life from the 1920s through the 50s.…

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Flat Character vs. Round Character: Definitions and Examples

flat vs rounded character

Every fictional person that populates books, movies, and plays falls into one of two categories: flat characters and round characters. Flat and round characters each fill important roles in works of fiction, and while this isn’t the only way to categorize fictional characters, it’s a useful distinction to help guide your own character writing. What…

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