Tone is the attitude of the fiction writers toward the readers and their subject. The tone of the write creates a mood or atmosphere for the story. The tone can be condescending, sarcastic, zealous, passionate, satirical, humorous, and so on. The writer’s tone can be anything the writer’s picks. In children literature, for instance, humor is an important tone.
The writers’ choice of diction often reveals their tone. The tone is mainly expressed by word connotation. For instance, some expressions might be interpreted as vulgar. Other expressions can be interpreted as sarcasm.
The tone is also about writer’s effect on the reader. What mood does the story create in the reader’s mind? The tone of a story may be optimistic, pessimistic, informal, formal, threatening, sad, humorous, serious, and joyful.
In formal writing, the tone should be concise, clear, courteous, and confident. In creative writing, the tone is more subjective. However, the writer should always aim to communicate clearly. Sometimes, genre determines the tone.
The tone in writing is not any different than your voice tone. You know that sometimes it is “how” you say it and not “what” you say. Every adverb and adjective you use, the imagery you use, and your sentence structure will show your tone.
The tone may remain the same throughout the story or can change very quickly.


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