Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday's Writer's Tip - Voice and Tone #amwriting

Much is said about the "wrtier's voice" and often confuses new writers and some old ones. This can be confused with the Tone of a particular work. They are at the same time, similar and dissimilar. Voice is the writer's choice of words and their style of writing. Tone is the particular flavor the writer infuses to a piece of writing. How can a writer who writes in several genres or sub-genres retain their voice while infusing a tone into the story.

Tone is created by the choice of words, sentence length and amount of descriptive passages and dialogue in the story. Tone lets the reader know what kind of story they're reading. Think of the difference between a historical romance and a contemporary one. Giving a mixed signal by using the more lush opening paragraphs for a contemporary could confuse the reader. Or writing a romantic suspense and using long and convoluted sentences might make the reader scratch their head or better yet, make them put the book aside. Even in a genre like mysteries, there's a difference in the type. Starting a cozy with the kind of language used by a hard-boiled detective and the reader is confused.

So tone is what a writer needs to establish with the opening words and maintain the tone throughout the story. The writer's voice is not something that happens overnight. This cones from writing story after story and the writer will come to find their voice or their style. There are some writers whose voice is so distinctive you can without seeing their name on the cover know who write the story.

So the point of this is don't worry about your writer's voice but concentrate on letting your readers know by using tone to establish the kind of story they're going to read.

1 comment:

The Paperback Diva said...

This is an excellent explanation. In fact, I never really thought about the difference between tone and voice. Thank you.