Thinking about Tone

So, I said yesterday that I want to try for a different tone or voice, but didn’t really elaborate on what that is. I have a rough idea, but figured this would be a good opportunity to work it out with writing instead.

Basic Problem:
There are a variety of topics I wish to address or work through that are politically charged or about which I have very strong and sometimes extremely negative opinions. I do not, however, wish to use this platform to spread misery and hatred. The world has enough of that and I remained concerned that discussing current events in any light only feeds into it.

Despite my concerns, I find that I have a relatively optimistic outlook on many things. I don’t think this has always been the case, as in the past I considered myself more of a realist, but find it increasingly so. I’ve certainly provided resistance in some of the more doom and gloom posts on reddit, because I feel that the current messaging promoted by both sides of the media apparatus is one inclined to negativity. Perhaps my optimism is something of a coping mechanism I’m using to counter that. Either way, I seem to be able to leverage it into a more positive view of the world. I have also noticed that there are a wide variety of people in certain reddit communities that leave comments to the effect of “thank you, I needed to hear/see this.”

Target Tone:
My goal, then, is to try and use the more optimistic language I’ve been using in those posts and comments to make my subject matter less… negative. It’s not always an easy thing to manage, as there are certain topics that I feel downright violent about, but writing in general moderates my tone. After all, anything I write can and will be used against me, and it just seems responsible not to encourage those things.

Overall my intent is to try and target a tone which is at least generally positive and hopeful. The good news is that I don’t think I’ve been far from the mark in the past, but that’s because I typically refused to publish anything that didn’t fall neatly in that area. The challenge is taking those posts and finding a new way to express them.

Obviously, there may simply be times or topics where this isn’t feasible. How I feel about something must necessarily be part of my expression. That is, it would really reflect me because it’s not what I actually think or feel. I’ll have to consider how best to handle those cases when they arise.

I’ve considered trying online tone analysis tools, but those require a certain amount of effort that may not be practical in my typically writing and publishing timeline. Grammarly technically does something similar already, I’ve just not decided how I feel about its results.

I feel like the overall takeaway for me is that I should just keep doing whatever I’m doing now and focus on the edge cases when and if they arise. The problem isn’t so much my default tone, which I’m happy with. I just need to find a better approach to topics I would normally reject.

I’m definitely not sure how I feel about using headings either. I’ll have to sleep on that, as it were.

Y’all take care. Don’t fall asleep reading my mildly organized word salad.

Hey, it’s Blaugust time! The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.

2 thoughts on “Thinking about Tone

  1. Two interesting posts, in which you’ve explained your problems with wanting to talk about politically charged and controversial topics without giving the slightest scintilla of a clue what those topics might be, far less what stance you might take on them! I have literally no idea whether I’m likely to be in the choir you’re preaching to or one of the inflamed. Looking forward to finding out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry, that’s my bad. I was intentionally holding the topic for introduction week. šŸ˜‹ I don’t actually expect anyone to be particularly inflamed, as I consider most Blaugust folk quite reasonable and afaik they make up most of my readers. I actively assume most of you are in the choir.


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