Using The Characters

When we’re building atmosphere in a story it can be affected by the perspective of characters. Every character has their own viewpoint with their own preconceived notions, fears, memories and loves and all of these will change how they interact with their surroundings and the interpretation they give. This is particularly important if this character … Continue reading Using The Characters


Picking The Place

When we’re building the atmosphere of a place we don’t have to pick a place that immediately suggests the atmosphere we want to build. Classic examples in British fiction could be the gothic mansion, or a medieval castle, or a graveyard when we want a creepy setting. These are all perfectly acceptable and work very … Continue reading Picking The Place

What is Pathetic Fallacy?

Pathetic fallacy is the fancy name for the weather reflecting the mood of characters, such as the angry/morose character sitting in their office with a storm raging around them. It used to be a very popular technique, think of Shakespeare’s three witches in Macbeth up to no good in the middle of a storm, but … Continue reading What is Pathetic Fallacy?

Using The Senses

When we’re creating atmosphere the emotions it evokes in the reader is as much about how we describe the setting as the setting we choose. We can have a gothic mansion that’s homily and a meadow that’s creepy, sometimes the place alone can suggest the atmosphere but that’s another article. Now when we’re talking about … Continue reading Using The Senses

Atmosphere Versus Mood

Atmosphere refers to the sense of a place or moment that the text implies to a reader. It’s often used to refer to ‘atmospheric’ prose which tends to be applied to the moody, broody, and dark, though this isn’t always so. Atmosphere is also often related to the horror genre in reference to the spooky, … Continue reading Atmosphere Versus Mood

Adding Atmosphere

This week we're looking at different elements that can be used in the creation of atmosphere in fiction, such as characters, places and literary styles. Monday - Atmosphere Versus Mood, Are they the same or can we think of them seperately? Tuesday - Using The Senses, How we can use the senses to create atmosphere. Wednesday - What is Pathetic … Continue reading Adding Atmosphere

The Narrator’s Voice

There’s a common misconception when people begin writing that there is a right way and a wrong way to write an omniscient narrator. From concerns I’ve heard I suspect this comes from the idea that at omniscient narrator is an entity detached from the story, although they’re telling it they have no stake in it, … Continue reading The Narrator’s Voice

The Balancing Act

As with the ability to move our narrative focus anywhere there are benefits and risks to omniscient narration when it comes to explanation. The narrator knows and sees all so it can be tempting to thoroughly explain everything, even when we don’t need to. This can be useful in a first draft when we’re figuring … Continue reading The Balancing Act

How Much is Too Much?

One of the best things about omniscient narration is that we can show anything thing we want, but this can be the worst thing too. The problem is that the ability to jump between time, space and characters means it can be tempting to show everything which can be far too much. Some things need … Continue reading How Much is Too Much?

The Reliable Narrator?

An omniscient narrator is an authorial voice outside the characters and the story that can move between the characters and places at will. This is slightly different from limited omniscient narrator which is outside the characters but we’re also limited to the perspective of one character at a time with a distinct break between each … Continue reading The Reliable Narrator?