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!
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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.