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Each piece of fiction, each section of text, has a particular feel.The feel of a story or scene is primarily achieved through three elements—tone, mood, and style.Tone is established when the author answers a few basic questions about the purpose of the writing: Tone depends on these and other questions.
Some writing guides suggest that if you’re unsure about what tone to adopt for fiction, you visualize the book as a film — doesn’t everybody do that anyway these days?
— and imagine what emotions or feelings its musical soundtrack would convey.
Tone is achieved through word choice (diction), sentence construction and word order (syntax), and by what the viewpoint character focuses on.
Tone is created or altered by the way the viewpoint character/narrator treats the story problem and other characters, and by the way he responds to the events surrounding him.
Exclude the narrator’s attitude toward someone he loves if you want to portray him as distant and unfeeling; add in this attitude when it’s time to reveal this facet of his personality.
When you give him a scene with his love interest, it can have a tone far different from those in other scenes featuring the same character.
In written composition, tone is often defined as what the author (rather than the reader) feels about the subject.
(What the reader feels about it, by contrast, is referred to as the mood.) Tone is also sometimes confused with voice, which can be explained as the author’s personality expressed in writing.
A scene’s or story’s tone, expressed through the narrator’s attitude, could as easily be one of fearness, disbelief or detachment, or maybe unconcern or snarkiness or arrogance.
Whatever attitude the narrator can take on, the scene or story can take on.