The word ‘tone’ has many definitions. It can be the pitch of a person’s voice, or the perfect timbre of a musical note.
Did you ever get in trouble from your parents about the tone of your voice? And pretended you had no idea what they were talking about? It's not like you said anything bad...
An insult can be delivered in a light, teasing tone, and we know the person did not mean it. The same words can be delivered in a cutting, harsh tone, and we know the person really meant it.
In the absence of clear tone in a novel, the reader will supply their own. This is how several people can read the same book but come away with a completely different definition of the story.
Have you ever read something and felt that you knew the author? That is because the tone was so clear. It’s hard not to view them as someone we know. After all, we took a trip with them, whether it was an adventure, a romance, or a horror filled escape from a supernatural being.
Maybe you are the kind of the writer that wants your readers to draw their own conclusions, or maybe you like to make the tone crystal clear. Both ways can create a work of art, as long as you are aware of it.
Work on your voice…but watch your tone.
And that, my friends, is the Word.