Mood is the overall feeling of a piece of writing or film. In other words, mood is the feeling that is created in the reader or viewer by the work.

Perhaps you’ve experienced a song putting you in a good mood or a bad mood. A movie or book can do the same thing, of course.

Mood can be caused by many things:

  • The subject matter of a story.
  • The language used by writers and directors (for example, it might be obscure or simple).
  • The actions and interactions of characters.
  • The tone of the work (the attitude toward the subject matter), which is one of the nuances of mood.

In simple terms, mood is the overall feeling of the writing. Simply put, a sentence with a sad mood might say, “It’s raining outside.”

A sentence with a happy mood would say, “The sun is out!” In more complex terms, it may be helpful to think about how writers use language elements in order to create mood.

Sometimes, it may be more interesting to look at how the characters’ actions and dialogue make the mood.

Let’s take a look.

What Is mood

What Is mood?

Mood is the feeling that pervades a literary work or a film. It may be conveyed through the setting, characterization, syntax, dialogue, narration and imagery.

The term “mood” may also be used to describe visual elements of films as well as music and sound effects.

In this context, mood is often referred to as “mood music.” Mood elements in films are designed to complement and enhance onscreen action and emotion.

In literature and film, mood is conveyed through many different forms such as character development, dialogue and narration.



For example, in the novel The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane conveys mood through character development: Henry Fleming’s nervousness before battle reflects the mood of panic that engulfs him at that point in time.

In this way, mood becomes an integral part of the story.

What Is Mood?

First, let’s face it: writing can be boring. A lot of young writers think they are going to have to drag themselves through a thousand dull words until they finally get to the good stuff.

And don’t tell them that mood is one of the primary tools they’ll use in writing-they don’t want to hear it. They just want to have fun.

A mood is a feeling or atmosphere that exists within a writing piece. A writer may include items in their work to deliberately evoke a specific mood and give the reader a new perspective on the subject being written about.

By using items and techniques like allusions, similes, and figurative language, a writer can create certain moods in their work.

Mood is defined as the “general feeling” of an author’s section or selection from a piece of literature.


It is best illustrated through imagery, which also helps to intensify the mood. Imagery consists of four key elements:

  • simile,
  • metaphor,
  • personification, and
  • hyperbole.

Mood directs the emotional intensity and tenor of a work to be read. Mood can be defined as a writer’s use of words to evoke emotional or mental states in the reader.

The reader feels what emotion or mental state is to be experienced.

For example, in this poem, “A Child’s Funeral,” by William Blake, the mood and feeling of sympathetic joy are evoked by the words “soft western winds played upon my cradle; while dark southeastern storms make my spirit toil and labor in anguish.”

What’s The Function Of Mood In Literature?

Everyone has moods. We know this from personal experience from being happy, sad, or angry at times.

How about characters in literature? Do literary characters have moods too? Do the writers use words to describe the mood of the characters? 

If so, how does it affect how we read and understand the story? 

This article provides a basic overview of how writers use the mood created by their use of words, phrases, and sentences to affect their readers. 

Mood is about the atmosphere that the writer creates for their readers in order to convey a feeling. Mood is a common element in literature.

Whether it is love or hate, happiness or sadness, or even boredom and contentment, all of these feelings can be conveyed through a mood. All emotions have different connotations

The definition of mood is the state of mind in regards to one’s feelings, it is the predominant emotion of a piece of writing or of a character within a piece of writing.

What’s The Function Of Mood In Film?

Now, here comes the question? What’s the function of mood in a film? Because without mood no film, or no shot rather, or any media for that matter can be appreciated in its true spirit. 

And what is mood but a kind of atmosphere in a film that results from a collection of sensory effects?

A major part of the entertainment industry is to entertain people, while also capturing their attention. Mood in film is one major factor that contributes to both of those aspects.

It captures your attention and enjoyment, while at the same time getting you excited to see what happens next. In order to create certain moods or atmospheres during a film, filmmakers use a variety of techniques.

Mood and tone in film should not be confused with setting. While mood and tone in film are secondary to the setting. The setting is basically the overall location and environment where the story takes place.

From an academic standpoint, there is an abundance of literature on mood and tone in the film, but many filmmakers are still trying to figure out how best to implement these effects within their movies. A challenge for filmmakers is creating a completely imagined world that immerses the viewer in the story.

Mood vs. Tone

Mood and tone are two different elements of writing that are easy to confuse with each other, but they each carry out different functions. 

The simplest way to think about the difference between the two is that tone of writing is a characteristic of the author’s attitude or perspective, while mood is a characteristic of the method used to portray emotions.

Your tone is the attitude behind your words. It is your emotional color.

Your mood on the other hand is how you feel within. If someone treats you nicely, this can make you happy and increase your mood; if they treat you rudely, this can make you upset and decrease your mood.

Or how about when you walk into a room with lots of sunlight streaming in? That would usually make one feel happy, but if there was a thunderstorm outside and lightning flashing through the window, that could also raise one’s mood.

Why Is Mood Important In Writing?

What effect does writing style have on the reader? There are many factors that affect the mood of writing. 

The choice of tone, diction, syntax, and figurative language that a writer uses all contribute to a writer’s tone and mood.

Each author has a certain way of writing about an event or thing. Mood is an important element of all forms of writing. Tone is particularly important to advert writers.

A mood is created and repeated with each word choice an author makes. Polite language creates a polite mood, while offensive or crude language might evoke an angry response when the audience reads something.

The tone of the article will be affected greatly by the tone of each sentence.

Examples Of Mood In Literature

Stories and poems can emphasize a range of emotions. Broad categories that include horror, mystery, and comedy complement others such as humor and romance.

Mood is a literary term that refers to the psychological state of a character or narrator. While many literary elements such as plot, imagery, and character are used to convey meaning in written works, the use of mood is also significant.

The tone of a piece is also critical to assessing the writer’s purpose. Below are some good examples of mood in literature.

Examples Of Use Of Mood In Film

Mood, in film, is a catch-all term for whatever the filmmaker wants to convey. It encompasses everything from lighting, editing, and music selection to props, wardrobe, and set design.

Mood often has as much to do with tone as it does actual visuals. It’s interesting to note that mood can be either on purpose or accidental; some films have an intended mood that may not carry through to the audience due to lack of execution by production or post. 

Film and video are both visual media, which means that most people will know what you’re going for even if they don’t “feel” it. 

This means that someone fighting with a bad hair day who’s supposed to look glorious and beautiful but winds up looking sloppy and disheveled won’t always come across the way the director intends.

Have you ever noticed how some films use different moods to convey a certain message? An audience’s response can be strongly influenced by the atmosphere of films. The tone becomes the main force in a film’s development.

It allows one to determine whether a film is supposed to be funny, bitter, or poignant. Films such as Pleasantville learned how the atmosphere affects the audience by using an overly bright color scheme when depicting their world since they are usually unaware of such aspects of life in the real world. 

In Film Noir style films such as Chinatown, dark colors like blacks, blues and browns are used to portray the dismal mood of the characters and their environment.

What Is Mood In Fiction?

The dictionary defines mood as “a prevailing state of mind or feelings, emotion.” What is mood in fiction?  In fiction, mood creates feelings and colors our perception of the story world.

Without it, there can be no action, for what would be the point? Our heart skips a beat when we are frightened. Chills run down our spine when we are angry.


We laugh when we are happy. The novel is a living thing and like all living things it has a heartbeat—the rhythm that sustains and propels it to the next word, sentence, paragraph, chapter…and beyond.

Firsts, there are the moods — the atmospheric and stylistic effects created by setting, point of view, characterization, and dialogue. Then there are the moods themselves — sadness, rage, fear, boredom, happiness, and many more.

Finally, there is an author’s creation of the particular emotion that a character is experiencing at such and such a moment in the story. All of these things — and much more — can be described as mood in fiction.

The mood of a story can be light and fun, or dark and mysterious. It may feel mysterious and spooky, exciting and suspenseful, or emotional and romantic.

Examples Of Mood In Fiction

Have you ever read a book and thought, “how did the author do that?” 

This article has talked about mood examples and how they relate to plot, character development, and conflict. The writer describes the best way to develop mood in your novels. Along with writing tips on how to keep your plot moving without sacrificing detail.

Mood is an essential element to most stories. Moods vary from story to story, and readers rely on it to create the atmosphere and setting of their work. 

A romance is a good example of where mood is important. It creates the impression of fun, freedom, and spontaneity that fits within the setting of a romantic relationship.

Those three aspects are essential in any romantic story, as they make an impression upon the story.

Setting can have a significant influence over the mood of a novel. A writer can set the scene in just a few words, and simply describe what characters see.

However, by describing the weather, time of day, surrounding environment or landscape, and atmosphere a clearer picture will emerge of what the characters are experiencing.