Setting Tone

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Setting Tone

How to Set Tone in Your Writing

By Tayyaba Batool

Do you know the tone in writing is as important as speaking? This article helps you in understanding the significance of tone in writing. The term tone refers to an attitude or an emotion towards the subject as well as the readers. Whether you are going to write a fictional story, novel, blog post, a poem or any other type of writing, it is important to set an attention-grabbing tone. Tone is important as it conveys your message, as a writer to readers, affecting them in a specific way. On the other hand, it also affects the way a reader perceives the message you are conveying.

You are a good writer if you know how to “play with words.” Word choice matters, truly. The selection of a word or phrase you use in writing may reveal anything from cultural context to a range of emotions. The words you use may decide how you think about a character or a situation. That feeling is the tone. For instance, you may use words like harsh, cruel or deadly for an unlikeable character or event. These words may reveal the feelings of threat, annoying behavior or frustration. On the other hand, by using more pleasant words such as warm, playful and bright, you may create a feeling of comfort, hope or any other positive feeling. In these two ways, you are setting the tone in your writing using words. You may also define a character by using some derogatory words.

It is not only words that matter. The way you arrange words in a sentence also conveys your attitude towards the meaning of the sentence and the point you want to convey. For example, let’s say your character rushes into a crowded room, winded and coughing. After a minute or two, he regains his composure, slowly stands and utters these words in a near broken whisper: “It was worth… the fighting.” That sentence is only five words, but there is added punch with his delivery. There is nothing spectacular with the words themselves.

If you want to adjust the tone to your piece of writing, you should ask yourself some important questions. What type of relationship will a reader form to the subject of your writing? If the readers are experts in a field, they want a formal tone of your writing if an article. If they are onlookers, they may feel comfortable with a friendly tone even if the subject is complicated.

Knowing your audience will help you tailor your message to their expectations, by setting the most suitable tone for your writing.