Tone is a literary compound which illustrates the attitudes toward the subject and audience. It may be formal, serious, informal, ironic, intimate, condescending, solemn, somber, playful, etc. How a work’s theme is approached determines the tone.
Although tone and mood are often confused they are different. The mood is the atmosphere or feeling shaped by the story. Mood is most often conveyed through setting, voice, and theme. The tone of a work is one of the elements that help set the mood.
Diction or word choice and syntax or sentence structure are two of the most common ways authors set the tone of a story. Using short, broken sentences conveys a very different tone than using long, complex, sometimes run-on sentences. In the same manner the words that an author uses paint a picture of the emotion behind a character’s feelings or actions or the scene setting. A long description of dark and hallow stare of a looming man across the room is very different than the author telling about the friendly and warm gaze of the guy across the room.
The tone, especially when the author describes a character, can help the audience rally with or against that character.
Daryl Harrison is one of many authors who like to use various tones to illicit emotion from his readers. In Daryl’s critically acclaimed novel The Waiting Game, the tone changes throughout the book to pull his readers into the world he paints. Daryl Harrison used to be a teacher before trying his hand at writing. He lives in New York with his family.