Style, tone and mood

Style, tone and mood have to do with the way the writer uses language to convey his story.


Sentence length, structure and arrangement, paragraphs, word choice, word order all determine the style of a text. Words can be formal or informal, or even slang, sentences can be long or short.

There are two reasons for a writer to take care of his style: appropriateness to the story and personal signature. In a serious piece of fiction, words are often more formal, sentences tend to be longer. Is the writing comical, then sentences tend to have shorter sentences, informal wording, and less complicated grammar. The second reason is the writer’s signature, which makes him stand out and be noticed. This can be developed deliberately, but also develops unconsciously.


Tone is the writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward the subject of the writing; whether, for example, a writer is for or against the subject. Writers tend to be conspicuous about their personal opinions in their writing. They use tone to influence the reader. Tone may be communicated through words and details that express particular emotions. City life can be represented as bustling and lively, or shown as grey, dreary and monotonous.



The mood of a passage is its emotional quality or atmosphere. In poetry, the choice of words, the length of lines, the rhythm, and other elements all contribute to creating a certain mood. In fiction, the setting often helps create the mood of the story.

Although tone and mood overlap, tone is more rigid as it reflects the opinion of the author. It is what the writer feels towards a certain subject. Mood is a feeling created within the reader by reading a certain text.


These are not separate categories, but often overlap in usage. A single word can be part of a writer’s style to convey a certain tone to create a certain mood within the reader.


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