tones!

“Are you asleep yet?”

“No, are you?”

“…no”

“How about now?”

sleep over with Zen! | Yoosung! | Saeran!

David Delruelle :: Fragment XXXV, 2016

Lo inacabado del fragmento tiene un aliento generador, complicante, no en el sentido de complicar lo simple sino de volvernos cómplices de algo. [Eduardo Milán. Resistir. Insistencias sobre el presente poético.]

so im gettting a bit tired of people constantly insulting me for playing susano/ insulting the character’s playstyle, so allow me to explain something very important.

i started playing smite in 2014, and while my overall game knowledge was poor, i used to be a lot better at the game itself. i played and performed decently with mainly hunters. obviously i loved the game, because its 2017 and i still play it, but.

in 2016 around april, i was diagnosed with a chronic disease called fibromyalgia. along with being in a lot of pain all the time, a symptom that effects me tremendously is hand pain, specifically in my finger joints and wrists- and that comes with a side order of stiffness and twitching. this made aiming VERY difficult, and does to this day- which made my play exponentially worse.

then susano was released. first, i love his kit. second, he’s an impactful character. third, almost his entire kit is AOE. this was literal godsend to someone who was kind of tired of only being consistently good with ah puch. and, to boot, susano is a disruptive kind of character who can set up and secure kills without help- and if i HAPPEN to make a mistake (which is very common!) i can choose to not commit. all of these things are huge components of why i play him so much.

so, sure, teasing is in good fun and all, but just remember that you’re making fun of a disabled 19 year old for finding her niche in a game she didn’t think it was possible to.

On Atmosphere and Tone

(as requested by @itcamefromashes

Note: All advice below is purely built on what I have learned during my years of writing. I am by no means a professional. What is said below is purely my opinion and what works for me. 


Tone is one of the most vital parts of any scene or story and getting it wrong can completely destroy whatever your creative writing is trying to accomplish. I don’t mean this as to scare anyone away from writing, but as a warning. When writing, you have to keep many things in mind; sentence length, structure, words, trying to get from point A to point B, and remembering to watch the tone of your writing can sometimes end up getting drowned out by everything else. 

However, tone is just as important as all those things!

Tone is the mood your story sets. It can be happy, depressing, dark, humorous, serious, tense, and the list goes on ad infinite. If a story doesn’t have the right tone or atmosphere, you get some very strange effects. 

One of the easiest ways to see this is in film. Especially bad films. Oftentimes, in bad films, the acting and dialogue isn’t good enough to carry a serious scene, which leads said scene to being unintentionally hilarious even though it’s not supposed to be. 

A good way to try and dictate the tone of your setting in your story is to watch your sentence length and the words you use. Short. Sentences. Are. Sharp. And often are used for emphasis. They are quick. They are light. Easy to read. They give a sense of urgency almost. Which is why in fight scenes, you want to use short sentences. Longer sentences have a more, let’s say, flow to them. They can be light and thoughtful, almost wandering if you will. They are soothing, almost relaxing, and give a sense of almost serenity, or things simply slowing down. 

Using different sentence length makes your story more fun to read and not so dull. It can also aid in writing scenes that need certain moods. If you’re writing a hospital drama and someone is on the verge of death, you might want to use shorter sentences, for the reasons stated above. 

Likewise, if you’re writing a romantic walk on the beach, with the sunset to your right, the tides rippling softly along the sand, you would want to use longer sentences. 

Word choice is always a bane, it seems. I’ve already written a small thing over vocabulary, and I am not going to repeat what I said there here. Certain words have connotations that others don’t. 

“Ty looked around the corner, every muscle in her body tense, as she waited for the lights of the cops to swing the other direction. She had to get away.” 

That’s pretty okay. But what about this instead: 

“Ty glanced around the corner, muscles taut. She waited for the cops’ lights to swing away from her. She had to get away.”

The second example sounds better. The two sentences were split into three and a couple of words were replaced. ‘Glance’ means the exact same thing as the word ‘look,’ but the connotation it carries is different. This is why just plucking words out of thesaurus without first thinking about their connotation doesn’t ever work. Yell, screech, shriek, caterwaul, and scream all mean basically the same thing. However, all of them carry different meanings as well. If you want to write about a woman screaming as she’s startled, you probably wouldn’t want to use caterwaul or yell. Those words will confuse the connotation of why the woman is screaming. If what startles her is a serial killer, shrieking is a stronger word to use than say, a scream, which is a pretty “simple” word and would go better with the situation being a friend startling her. 

Tone isn’t just based in word choice and sentence length. Dialogue also carries tone. What someone says, how they say it, and even speech tags, carry different meanings and can give a scene a different feeling. 

““Do you even love me anymore?” Ty murmured. 

“How could I not?” replied Zeke.”  

That’s okay. What about this: 

“Do you even love me anymore?” Ty sobbed. 

Zeke pulled her close, gasping into her skin. “How could I not?” 

The second is stronger. Just by adding more detail and changing the speech tags, the tone is more stable. 

Adding onto this, details is yet another part of the story that will carry your tone. Usually less details mean that more action is going on, which in turn leads to your situation feeling tense, hurried, or even serious. More details can make your scene feel relaxed, calming, or peaceful. 

Furthermore, where the detail is placed can have heavy implications in your writing and change the tone. 

Let’s say you’re writing about Character A and Character B on a beach at sunset. The POV is first person and you’re in Character A’s head. 

If Character A is focused on the ocean, giving little thought to Character B, it could possibly give the scene tension. Perhaps they are breaking up with Character B? Or is angry at them? Or is giving them bad news? This makes the scene feel more serious. Mattering on how the ocean is described can also attribute to this. 

Meanwhile, if Character A is more focused on Character B, describing what they look like with the sun on them, the ocean breeze ruffling their hair, how they squint against the sun’s glare, this could possibly give the scene a more romantic or even relaxing feel. It’s focused on the two characters.

Of course, with this situation, there are many other ways to change the tone. In the second example, if Character A is describing Character B in an “ugly” way, then it can sour the mood of your scene and make the two characters feel more apart. Likewise, in the first example, if you just mention that the characters are holding hands or walking so close their shoulders brush, it can make the scene feel less serious, tense, and foreboding and instead, relaxing and even familiar. 

Details, how you describe things, and even what you want those details to be focused on, can heavily modify the tone of your scene or story. Character body language can completely change how something is felt as well.

“You idiot,” Ty snorted, shaking her head. 

Compared to: 

“You idiot,” Ty snorted. A small smile tugged at the corners of her lips as she shook her head. 

Likewise, another way to muddle the tone of a scene or story is not putting scenes in a good order. 

In film, a good way to mess up the tone is to have a very serious, dark, maybe even heartbreaking scene play out. Then, direct cut to something humorous before the scene could settle and give the audience a reaction. Jumping from something dark and serious to something light and funny in just a paragraph or so can ruin the mood you’re trying to set. In writing, this is pretty easy to fix. End the scene, use a line break, and then go to the next one. Just starting a new chapter helps too. 

Pacing can also hurt the tone of your story. If things are too rushed, you don’t give your reader enough time to care about what’s going on or form emotions. If you go to slow, your reader can get impatient and even emotionally burnt out. This is why a lot of really long depressing stories with little reprieve end up becoming a bore and a drag to read if not done well. 

I don’t often see mood and tone talked about and that’s a little worrying. It is just as important as all the other elements of writing. It is woven into every word you write done on a page. Always be careful to watch what you do to match your tone to what’s going on in your story. Don’t be afraid of changing tones to make things lighter or darker, that’s what makes a story more interesting to read and less dull. 

Get the right tone down, and your story will be millions of times stronger.