Tone of voice

Creating tone–second in the series on the writer’s voice.

Write about what?

ink1007 sunsetTone of voice… you have probably heard this phrase used frequently, such as in “I don’t like your tone of voice.” As a child I often assumed that phrase was the adults’ way of reprimanding someone whose statement was not malicious or false, but brought up an inconvenient truth. In speaking, tone is typically associated with a certain timbre, pitch or intensity that expresses an attitude, such as amusement or disdain. However those cues disappear if the words are written.

How are we to betray underlying emotions in writing? That is one of the keys to creating a distinctive writer’s voice.  Authors often use imagery to create the tone through their descriptive passages.  It does make a difference if the setting sun is “red as a ruby” or” red as blood.” A skillful writer uses imagery, full of connotative words with emotional undercurrents, to draw their characters and set the…

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