January 11, 2012

Tone in Writing, Part Four: Gaining Experience

Posted in Tone, writing techniques tagged , at 11:46 am by Rebecca Hein

If you’ve never thought of evaluating your writing for tone, and have no idea how to do it, don’t let this daunt you. In cello teaching, the first time I told my students to pay attention to how their back muscles felt while they were playing, they looked totally blank. Yet after a few weeks of trying, they adjusted to the idea and had begun to tune in on those elusive sensations.

In the same way, you may have to spend weeks or months trying to sense the quality of tone in your writing. Practice and experience are needed for anything new, and especially for something as subtle as listening for tone. Just keep going, reserving some time each day for the easy, undirected work that will establish the flow you need, and also liberate your attention so you can really listen.

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