Saturday, April 23, 2016

T is for Tone

This year for the A-Z Challenge, I'm attempting to act like I know what I'm talking about and offering advice about writing.  Let's see how I do!

Also, don't forget to stop by the Parallels blog to see more posts about the upcoming anthology, which will be available on May 3rd!

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I wrote a little about establishing tone in my post about perspective.  The eyes through which you tell your story will play a critical role in establishing the tone of that story.  Still, there’s more to establishing tone than that.

One important way of establishing tone is description.  You need to consider how you describe the character’s surrounding.  Think about the words you choose.  For example, consider the difference between these two sentences.

It was a windy night.  She pulled her coat tight around her.

The wind swept around her with an unearthly moan, rattling the bare tree branches.  She pulled her coat tight around her, trying to suppress a shudder.

The first sentence certainly conveys some of the same information, but it does so in a much different way than the first.  The first is a fairly direct description of the scene.  The second paints a picture of a spooky night that you might expect to find in a horror film, and you get an idea of how the character feels at the moment.  Without knowing the specifics of what is going on, you get to know the tone of the story.


  1. Interesting to read about the tone aspect - yes you do have to set it and knowing how makes or breaks your story.

  2. Tone definitely plays an important role in a story! I don't think I would want to read a story that was completely direct like the first example.

  3. Blog hopping from North Carolina during the #Challenge. I started WAY down the participant list figuring they wouldn't get as much traffic.Happy to find a fellow writer to learn from. I have been writing about hotels and inns, the architects and setting. Come and learn something more about fixing tea or having tea at a lovely hotel.

  4. Great way to approach the subject of tone--helpful post :-) And thanks for stopping by over at my blog. Enjoyed meeting you!

  5. I don't think much about tone, but you give me something to think about as I read. I am not a writer except to blog of course. Thanks for visiting Discovering Daisies for the Challenge.

  6. Good examples of tone. :) And unrelated, I really do need that sarcasm font...