The definition of tone in literature is how an author conveys his or her attitudes through his or her writing. Tone in literature, as we mentioned, relates to an authors attitude towards the topic of his or her writing. Tone refers to an authors use of words and style of writing in order to communicate their attitudes toward the topic.
Tone is distinct from mood, as it is a speakers – rather than an audiences – attitude towards the topic. In the most basic terms, tone generally refers to the way in which the writer uses specific words in specific ways to convey a nonverbal observation on specific subjects.
A straightforward tone is typically used in writing where a writer is expressing directly what they are thinking. A reflective tone is usually used in writing when the writer expresses his or her feelings about something.
An apathetic tone is usually used when the writer feels they are unmotivated to do something. An enthusiastic tone is usually used when someone is conveying a powerful sentiment about something or someone. An aggressive tone is usually used when someone feels they are having a fight or a confrontation.
Another term for a nervous tone is concerned, which may cause a reader to feel anxious or worried about what is coming. An author may use a tense tone when writing a mystery or a thriller, and wants to convey feelings of anxiety and worry.
Compared with tone, mood in a text is much more intentional, since an author wants the reader to feel a particular way. Sometimes, a scene has a specific mood and tone because there is some basic emotion that you want to communicate. Sometimes, you mean to have your writing convey a specific tone, but your choice of words may fall short.
Make adjustments to your writing, if necessary, once you have heard it, so that it conveys an appropriate tone. Once you have an understanding of your audience, message, and what tone you are trying to communicate, it is time to write with appropriate tone. As the writer, you are responsible for setting a tone within the piece of writing that impacts the way a reader feels after reading what you say.
As you get better at identifying what the tone is in something that is being read, you will get better at writing in that particular tone, too. As you explore what tones mean in writing, you may also want to take a look at different examples of tones in order to better understand how they can each appear in your own writing. Each example of tone in writing communicates the same message, but uses different word choices and details to communicate the authors attitude. You can communicate a variety of tone in writing through sentence structure, word choice, word phrasing, imagery, and more.
Writers employ different techniques to convey tones, including word choice, imagery, punctuation, even sentence structure. Writers rely on figurative language and other literary devices to invoke a mood in their readers, while dialogue and description are usually used to convey tone. The author sets a mood in order to provoke specific emotions from the reader; tone is an issue of an authors writing style. The writing style you adopt, the choice of words that you use, convey feelings and emotions to your readers.
When included as tone in writing, the reader becomes sympathetic to a character or the writer, and that sympathy will make them stay engaged in the narrative. This tone in writing is usually intended to pull the reader into a story or narration, so that they may relate to specific facts or opinions that the writer feels are important to share. The relatable tone the writer adopts works to pull in the reader, almost like he is hearing the story from a friend. By communicating this attitude via tone, the writer builds a specific relationship with the reader, which, in turn, influences the intentions and meanings of the written words.
While a writers tone can reflect a writers own attitude or opinion, the tone can also be applied rigorously to convey the attitudes and feelings of a specific character or narrator. It does not reflect a characters attitudes, but rather suggests an authors attitudes in a particular point in time in a text. The tone of the writing may be described as having a particular feel or mood, often reflecting the writers own viewpoint. Any emotion, any attitude, and any viewpoint can form the basis of a particular tone in writing.
The tone in your writing needs to serve as an emotional motivator, to make readers want to continue reading and share your content with others. An informational tone is usually used in writing when a writer wants to convey knowledge about something. You can also use how you feel about a story or situation that you are pitching in a written exchange to reflect this tone.
Tone creates connection between readers and writers, invoking an emotional reaction; you need to ensure your message is believable for the reader. You can also establish tone within a narrative by choosing words and framing sentences to convey mood, feelings, and attitudes. Many words used to describe the tone in a literary piece can be used to describe emotions, too, like passion, longing, nostalgia, and so on.
To understand an authors tone in a piece, it is important to analyze both the details that a storyteller is dwelling on, as well as the words used to describe these details. The writer must make specific stylistic choices in order to communicate a specific tone, including a command of word choice, punctuation, sentence length, use of vernacular, and observational details they choose to incorporate.
Writing requires not just an acute awareness of what this tone is, but a rigorous attention to detail when you are editing. A curious tone conveys that an author or a character wants to know more about a specific subject or situation, or that readers will keep discovering important details. Pessimism is not realistic, but the writer can use the tone when feeling negative when writing, or when wanting to reflect a viewpoint that views things in negative terms.