December 28, 2011

Tone in Writing, Part Two: What’s Inside You

Posted in Tone, writing techniques tagged , at 1:28 pm by Rebecca Hein

When an otherwise accomplished musician plays with an unpleasing tone, there’s usually a reason. He or she may be nervous, anxious, or just generally under stress. This is communicated to listeners and does not attract them.

In writing, the best illustration of this I’ve run across was in a “Writing and…” book. Writing has been linked to everything from Taoism to yoga, and in reading one such book I discovered a fatal error. The author took her non-writing discipline so seriously that this tone overpowered the whole book. What came through loud and clear was not, “This discipline is very important,” but “I am very important for writing about this.”

I was bored, didn’t finish the book, and have never recommended it to anyone except as a negative example.


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