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Understanding Authors Tone

Understanding Authors Tone

Readers often wonder what authors think when they write. They want to know the author’s state of mind as he/she wrote the book. How can they know this? By identifying the author’s tone.

An author’s tone sends a strong message or signal to the reader and from your tone as an author, the reader can tell your state of mind while writing a book. This is what makes books unique. Knowing the tone of the author helps the readers connect with the book.

What is a tone in writing?

The use of words and writing style by an author to indicate their attitude toward a topic is referred to as tone. The tone of your writing is very similar to the tone of your voice. You are aware that how you express something is sometimes more important than what you say. Writing is the same way. Your tone will be revealed through every adjective and adverb you choose, as well as your sentence structure and imagery.

Types of tone

Tone exists in different types. All tone types in writing can be classified into two major components; “the objective and subjective tone” which can be used to give a clearer picture of all. The objective tone is unbiased and matter-of-fact. The information is mainly factual.

On the other hand, words that reflect feelings, judgments, or views are used in a subjective tone. Experiences, senses, sentiments, and thoughts are likely to be included in the specifics.

  • The objective tone is neutral. It is unbiased and neutral because it does not express any emotions for or contra a topic. The objective tone frequently employs higher-level language and eliminates pronouns like I and you, resulting in a formal tone.
  • The subjective tone is personal, biased, emotive, and often informal.

Understanding the Author’s tone

The author’s tone is conveyed by the words and details he or she chooses. You must pay attention to how these words and elements are used in the text to understand the author’s tone. The tone of the story can shift dramatically or remain consistent throughout.

The way an author employs grammar, his/her point of view, his/her diction, and the formality with which an author writes all contribute to the tone of the author’s writing.

For example: ‘I, Being Born a Woman and Distressed’ (1923) is a poem about female sexuality and desire written by Edna St Vincent Millay. The tone of the poem was assertive and honest or some could describe it as a mean, impersonal tone; either way, there are hints of an ironic tone. From the tone one can tell the poem leaves you in a state of complexity and debate.

Another good example is: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s book, Frankenstein:

As the images that floated before me became more distinct, I grew feverish; a darkness pressed around me; no one was near me who soothed me with the gentle voice of love; no dear hand supported me…”

The tone here is solemn: deeply earnest, tending toward sad reflection.

One important thing to note is that the tone typically expresses how the author feels about the issue. The mood describes how the reader feels.

As an author, your tone must be distinct enough for readers to grasp the logic and/or emotions behind your writing. This way, they feel more connected to your book and consequently, to you.