By | Marzo 13, 2018


Today, I want to talk you about the difference between the Narrative Tone and the Narrative Style, two different technical devices that are often confused among themselves.

scrittissimo come scrivere un libro, un romanzo, un raccontoBut before starting this lesson there’s something I want to tell you. This article is the translation in English language of another article written by myself in Italian and titled: Differenza tra Tono e Stile.

So I do apologize in advance for any translation error, for any English grammar error and for any syntax error. So, let’s go forward with this lesson!

Difference between Tone and Style

What is Narrative Tone?

Narrative Tone is the emotional imprint that the Narrator confers on Narrative in order to stimulate in the Reader a specific typology of feelings.

For this reason, the Tone is always closely linked to the Point of View, the Mood and the Narrative Genre to which the Story belongs.

tone and style-differenceThere are an infinity of Narrative Tones, as many as human emotions are: neutral, romantic, detached, lamenting, joyful, cynical, ironic, enthusiastic, emphatic, journalistic, solemn, sad, etc.

Naturally, the Narrative Tone may vary depending on the course of events. It should, however, stay steady so that it remains coherent with the requirements listed above.

In addition, characters – through dialogues – can also help maintain the Tone chosen by the Narrator.

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Difference between Tone and Style

What is the Narrative Style?

If Narrative Tone is the Narrator’s emotional imprint, Narrative Style is the technical imprint he/she uses to present the Story.

Style determines a series of practical choices the Narrator has to do:

  • the typology of words to use

  • syntax building

  • the extension of sentences and their alternation

  • the use or not of rhetorical figures or other linguistic devices

  • the alternation between the various Narrative Modes

That’s why some Fiction Writers consider the Style closely tied to Tone or even a part of it!

As I have just said, Style is expressed by the Narrator. However, it often corresponds to the Writer’s way of writing

Just as it happens to painters who tend to have their own pictorial style, the Writer can also show a personal Style, distinct and recognizable, regardless of the type of Story he is writing.

This is – essentially – the difference between Tone and Style

That’s all for today!

See you soon on the next lesson on Scrittissimo.

Bye Bye


Author & Admin of SCRITTISSIMO: ideas, techniques and tips to write a Novel, a Tale, a Story.