Watch Your Tone

Look back at your stories from this month and see which tone comes most naturally to you…

Continuing the journey of discovering what comes naturally to you and harnessing that.

The prompt

Story focusing on one consistent tone


  • Pick a book from your bookshelf. Read the first page. You should be able to tell what kind of tone the entire book is going to have, from that first page. Is it going to be spooky? Is it going to be funny? Is it going to be poetic and lyrical?

  • Look back at your stories from this month and see which tone comes most naturally to you. It may not be the one you expect. A lot of people think they’re going to write “serious” fiction and find out that instead, they’re hilarious. And sometimes it works in reverse, too.

  • Pick the tone that came most naturally, even if it surprised you. Consciously write a story today using that tone.

  • Don’t forget to give us a character to root for, an interesting setting, and a problem that conflicts with the character’s deepest desires.

  • Don’t forget to finish!

Leave a comment to tell us what you discovered about your best tone. Or, ask for help if you need figure if you need help figuring this out.

15 thoughts on “Watch Your Tone”

  1. Had difficulty with this one. Need to take more time to work on it, as well as the voice assignment. Really big stuff.
    Story came out fairly lame, but I completed and tried to get in all the aspects.- Day 23 DONE.

    1. I admit: these are big subjects. Too much to shoehorn into the challenge in any meaningful way. I’ll probably be doing some workshops on them in future, so everyone chip in and let me know what topics you’d like to revisit and get your teeth into…

  2. What I do to ensure tone: write the tone you want in the centre of a page e.g. humerous. Then write all the words that you associate with it. You an then spidergram more words from those, if you wish. Use judiciously in your writing.

  3. I’ve been a bit hit and miss so far. So I decided to kick start the chapter of my novel that has been left hanging for a while. I wrote myself a few directions before I started. It’s a scene where the main character first meets an Italian guy, in a sort of blind date making up a foursome on a date. She doesn’t speak Italian and he doesn’t speak much English. I’ve added 750 words today and I’m probably half way through. May carry on with it tomorrow.

    1. Glad you’re writing. I’ve been working on my novel too. I don’t know why (even though I RUN this thing) that I have to learn, every year, that THE MORE I WRITE, THE MORE I WRITE. Argh.

  4. I’m not entirely sure about the difference between tone and voice, but the way I write that works best seems to be rather terse, and slightly wry. I’m not sure it’s how I’d want to write if I was choosing consciously, but that’s how it is.

    I took the weekend off again, but today I wrote a flash piece about a band that is having trouble getting started. It’s 4oo words.

    One day I’ll write something longer that’s worth reading. One day … 😉

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