An author’s “style” = how he/she uses language • Can impact the effect of the piece of writing • Can change for different audiences • Style consists of… • Diction - Tone • Figurative Language - Mood • Sentence Structure What is writing style?
the way an author uses words • Informal? Formal? Slang? Vernacular (academic writing) vs Colloquial (everyday slang) • “Stop talking” vs. “Desist your useless pontifications” Diction
“’Maybe nobody told you – I’m badder than ever. I’m getting badder every day. I’m almost afraid to wake up in the morning ‘cause-a how mad I mighta got overnight’” • Maniac Magee Diction example
Imaginative comparison of words or words that are used to give a deeper meaning to a sentence • Some common examples.. • Metaphor -Allusion • Simile • Alliteration Figurative Language
“If there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it walls, and we will furnish it with soft, red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling to a jeweler's felt so that we should never hear it. Love me, because love doesn't exist, and I have tried everything that does.” ― Jonathan SafranFoer, Everything is Illuminated Figurative language example
Fragments, simple, compound, complex • Sentence patterns create rhythm and pace: • Short, simple sentences can create suspense or excitement • Long, complex sentences might slow your reading Sentence Structure
“This sentence has five words.Here are five more words. Five-word sentences are fine. But several together become monotonous. Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It’s like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony. I use short sentences. And I use sentences of medium length. And sometimes, when I am certain the reader is rested, I will engage him with a sentence of considerable length, a sentence that burns with energy and builds with all the impetus of a crescendo, the roll of the drums, the crash of the cymbals—sounds that say listen to this, it is important.” Sentence Structure Example
An author’s attitude toward a subject or character • Tone isn’t only what you say but also how you say it. • Common examples: sad, nostalgic, happy, bemused Tone
The emotional atmosphere • created by choosing words (or visual/auditory aspects) carefully • the use of imagery—words or phrases that appeal to one or more of our senses—helps establish mood. • i.e. “It was a dark and stormy night, the owls were hooting, the moon was full and looked as red as blood above the fog-filled cemetery” • Video from 47seconds Mood
Read the passages, and work with a partner to note each paragraph’s different style. Describethe diction, tone, and mood of each.
Restless, shifting, fugacious as time itself is a certain vast bulk of the population of the red brick district of the lower West Side. Homeless, they have a hundred homes. They flit from furnished room to furnished room, transients forever—transients in abode, transients in heart and mind. Diction? Tone? Mood?
But Easter’s early morning sun had shown the dress to be a plain ugly cut-down from a white woman’s once-was-purple throwaway. It was old-lady-long too, but it didn’t hide my skinny legs, which had been greased with Blue Seal Vaseline and powdered with the Arkansas red clay. • Diction? • Tone? • Mood?