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Creative Writing: Fiction

Steven Dempsey

on 12 March 2013

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Transcript of Tone

The Importance of Tone American novelist, Jonathan Franzen, explains in this video, among other things, that tone should be the first thing a writer considers before starting a literary work. "Tone is the pervasive reflection, in written or spoken language, of an author's attitude toward his audience" (Stoehr). Tone Tone Gorrell, Robert M. "Bottom as Rhetorician: Voice and Tone." Rhetoric Review 2.2 (Jan., 1984): 161-162. JSTOR.org. Web. 11 March, 2013. In Fiction Tone Definition Tone Tone How to use tone effectively Tip #1 Tip #2 Tip #3 In "Lawns" by Mona Simpson To Clarify Being able to distinguish tone from mood can help in understanding both concepts. This video describes the differences between tone and mood.

Tone: Author, narrator, or speaker's attitude toward the subject.

Mood: The emotions the audience feels from a given passage. Work Cited Or, in lay terms, “when you’re in your bed, at the verge of sleep, and you hear voices in the next apartment, what you register is tone. The actual words don’t pass through the wall, but from the volume, pitch, relative stress, pacing and rhythmic pattern of the speech you reconstruct the emotional content of the conversation" (Voigt). "What's important is the combination of elements" (Voigt). "Many failures of tone may be traced to a lack of conviction, as when an author is seen to be embarrassed or apologetic: not of one mind himself, he writes awkwardly or anxiously just when he should be most firm, and gives away his weak position like a man whistling in the dark"(Stoehr). E.g. Diction, syntax, imagery, concrete language, figurative language, etc. "But student writers cannot escape the fact that their discourse does give an impression of tone. And student writers often have special difficulty because both the establishing and the perception of tone depend heavily on experience" (Gorrell). Voigt, Ellen Bryant. "On Tone." New England Review and Bread Loaf Quarterly, 12.3 (Spring 1990), 252, 257. JSTOR.org. Web. 10 March, 2013. Stoehr, Taylor. "Tone and Voice." College English. 30.2 (Nov., 1968). 150. JSTOR.org. Web. 11 March, 2013. Franzen, Jonathan. "How Do You Write?" Big Think. YouTube, 23 April, 2012. Web. 09 March, 2013 Brookhouser, Kevin. "What Is the Difference Between Tone and Mood?" KevinBrookhouser. YouTube. 27 Aug. 2012. Web. 09 March, 2013. It is difficult to analyze tone because it is how the author feels toward humanity and how they choose to express themselves in writing. Simpson seems to use a casual and informal tone with concise and relatively short sentences throughout the story. The tone of the story seems to lack emotion, enhancing the narrator’s acquired emotional numbness.
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