Day 16 – Clarify the Tone and Mood

This is the continued saga of my foray into Janice Hardy’s Revise Your Novel in 31 Days at-home workshop (

Today I am looking at the tone and mood of my novel. For me, it has always been like looking at twin brothers—hard to tell them apart. The definitions here help me understand the difference.

Tone is the background noise, like music in a movie. Mood is the lighting. It can change from scene to scene. In the best case scenario, tone and mood play off each other.

Tone – a deep, dark mystery

1.     Mood – scene – tension, fear

2.     Mood – scene – gallows humor

Tone – a light romance

1.     Mood – scene – passionate love

2.     Mood – scene – misunderstanding, hurt

Caveat: This is my interpretation. I am not a professional. You may not want to try this at home.

The tone of my book is exploring the unknown to fulfill a mission. Some of the moods are awe, confusion, doubt, and acceptance.

Results: Janice has taken a subject I have always found difficult and given me a better understanding of the differences. I want to go deeper as I work through the rest of this workshop.

Take-Away Value:

Take full advantage of how the imagery, words, rhythm and characters enhance the tone and mood. The important thing is that your tone carries through the whole story and your moods enrich that tone.

How do you interpret tone and mood? Do you have difficulty understanding them or do you have a good grip on the differences?

See you on the next page.







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