If writing were only as easy as many people think it is. This post is about Tone.

What is Tone in writing?

You will probably get as many different answers as the number of writers you ask.

Tone in writing changes with the writing.

  • Tone can be conversational, meaning as though you are talking to a friend or loved one.
  • Tone can be informative.
  • Tone can be educational.
  • Tone can be a narrative.

Your choice of tone depends on what you wish to convey as you work on a specific project, just as style and word choice will alter if you are writing a report opposed to a story.

Tone becomes more about attitude and experience when writing for an audience. If you attend church, is your attitude the same in church as it is outside of church? I think not.

In the normal usage of language most people use contractions, (i.e. can’t, isn’t…etc.), meaning less formal language. Dialogue in stories should reflect the language used by the characters. In a period piece, the language might be more formal.

Tone also applies to the audience you’re writing for. You would not use the same tone for clergy as you would business writing.

There are many types of tone. I have listed some above but there are also humorous, envious, pessimistic, and optimistic. It is up to the writer to choice tone and the audience they are writing for. The audience does play a part in the tone chosen by the writer.

The main thing a writer needs to do is check their ego at the door and write more for themselves.

If you don’t write for yourself first, then whom are you writing for? I mean, if you enjoy science fiction, would you write a romance novel. This is writing for yourself is about, writing what you like. If your writing is well conceived; and well written your audience will find you.

Think about what you write, and why you’re writing it.

Part 5 will be about Tense.

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer/Editor/Reviewer

Robert J Medak Writing & More

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