AmbienceWhat does ambience mean when it comes to writing? Ambience refers to the atmosphere of a setting. It has to do with the environment and the vibe it gives off. Every story must have a credible setting that puts readers into that scene. If you’re at the ocean, then let the readers hear the water break upon the beach, smell the salt-filled hear, and feel the hot sand beneath their feet.

In A Dirge for the Malice series, I took characters back to Science Hill, Kentucky in 1986. Not only did I have to be true to the time period, such as music, cars, restaurants, but I had to be as true to the area as well. I wanted readers to experience Halloween night in my small, hometown. I wanted to do justice to the legacy that was established long before I moved to town.

When I write a story, I want readers to be able to sense the same things as the characters. I want them to feel uneasy when the characters knock on the door of a witch’s cabin, or when a character is trapped under a chicken coop. A writer should cause the readers to feel like they are in that same place at that same time. That’s when reality is suspended and the reader is lost in the book.