Have you ever read a book where things just don’t “flow”?
There are a lot of self-published authors (a surprising amount) who do not know how to write. It is kind of paradoxical, or ironic, or metaphoric…whatever you decide it as, the point is simple: learn how to guide your book down a sequential path, and do it using words that match the tone of your book. Now, what do I mean by “tone”? There is more to a book than just its genre. There is also the mood you give the reader, and many authors (even the greats) forget that this exists. There is a customized syntax for every book individually, and you have to follow it.
How Do You Determine Mood?
Tone. It’s that simple. The tone of your book (the words you use, the way you use them, and the basis of your story) determines much of the mood the reader will experience. But how do you determine this? Let us look at an example. You are writing a psychological thriller. Below is one take:
“He crossed the bridge with an effervescent huff, struggling to maintain his balance. He was moments from his last breath, but hopefully his enemy was on the other bridge, too, laying in death’s murky claws…”
That is one way to write it. You can see that it clings to the topic, and it uses a lot of dark, albeit, insinuating verbs. Now, look at the below:
“He crossed the bridge with a huff and tried to keep himself stable. He could only hope his enemy was in the same shape as him. He was unable to breathe, unable to walk, unable to see, and unable to think…”
Less verbs and description, right? To be honest, either of these examples would work, but the tone of the first example is much more expressive. You have to lure your readers into a sick, twisted world in this case, and verbs combined with dark-toned language (“death’s murky claws”) is one way to set the mood for your book.
Is It Genre-Specific?
No, tone/mood is required in any given scenario. The above were rather bad examples, but that, in itself, means I am a naturally-born writer – I just cannot turn it off and even in the example where I am trying to sound less dramatic, it still comes off with a sense of tone. But every genre has a requirement for it. Even a silly, funny children’s book needs to possess some indication of mood (in this case, it would be slow and whimsical).