Marilynn Byerly


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Maintaining Tone


Marilynn Byerly


QUESTION: I have very abbreviated writing time so I can only work in spurts so my mood comes into the text sometimes. How can I stop that?

The trick with holding the tone of the scene is to remember that you are the viewpoint character. You are seeing what she sees and feeling what she feels. Writing character is like immersion or method acting where you become the character.

This takes a bit of practice, but after a bit, you can switch between characters and personalities with ease as you change POV for a scene, and you can also inhabit the other characters in the scene so they continue to act as you've conceived them, and their dialogue is in character.

You also have to remember that your character should be reacting to what is happening at that moment rather than constantly sliding into introspection about the rest of her life. If you and she remains in the moment of the scene, neither of you will lose the right voice or tone of the scene.


Copyright 2008 by Marilynn Byerly

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