Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mood and Tone. One and The Same?

I write dark. I’ve tried writing fun, light romps and I fail miserably. Don’t get me wrong, I have humor sprinkled in here and there, but I love to create an atmosphere that is brooding and intense. With Shrouded in Darkness it was easy to great a dark mood. I added two elements, both of which are almost characters in the book. One was the house. It rested on the top of a hill and isolated from the nearest town. When I did describe it, it was usually when the sun was setting. The other element was the weather. The book was set in January, up in the mountains. Lots of snow and cold weather. The time of year when someone could freeze to death if they were stuck out in the elements! :)

I have my characters facing mortality, so that definitely creates a dark mood. As to tone, there’s some humor I have added in the scenes. I can only go so dark! It took me a while to figure out that tone is definitely different than mood. They are two separate elements. You can have a book with a somber mood, but the author may tell it with a completely different tone. It’s how the author tells his story.

Covers sure can tell the tone and mood of a book. With Shrouded in Darkness, you can tell you’re not going to get something light and funny. I know I would feel odd if I picked up a book by the cover alone and found the opposite of what was inside the pages.

One movie comes to mind when the moodand tone are different and that is Scream. The mood is dark and scary, while the tone is filled with humor. At least between the scary parts!

Let’s see… as to other movies where the mood is different than the tone. I can think of War of the Roses and Young Frankenstein.

Can anyone think of other examples? Or what about a dark tone but a light mood?

3 comments:

Connie Flynn said...

Mood and tone . . . your topic is fascination and got me to thinking. Are there other contrasts between the two besides humor and darkness?
Thanks for posting

Kim Watters said...

Yes, very interesting topic. Can't think of any others but then again I'm brain dead right now. And yes, you're spot on with your book, HD, having read it for myself.

H.D. Thomson said...

Good question Connie. I actually can't think of one other than looking at a ying and yang affect. Compassion verses apathy? Faith verses despair? I think humor and darkness are very easily identified and not so complicated.