Guest Post: Atmospheric Writing by Nathan Hall

When I was invited to do a guest post on atmospheric writing, I was flattered. But I quickly ran into a problem: I don’t actively aim for atmospheric writing. So it’s not something I put tons of conscious effort into, and it’s definitely not something I have a checklist on hand to achieve.

I tried to look back and reverse engineer it, but that was making things harder than they had to be. In my experience, atmospheric writing isn’t a goal. It’s a natural outcome of my process.

I guess I should eventually explain what atmospheric writing is, and why you may or may not want it.

Atmospheric writing has a consistent tone. The very world through your characters’ eyes has a mood, almost a flavor. This is what this story FEELS like. It doesn’t mean you can’t add humor or romance or action in a story that is primarily in another genre. But it has a core identity, and it doesn’t betray that identity.

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