keatonMy biggest struggle last week was maintaining a consistent tone as I switched between multiple points of view. My WIP involves transforming a tragic myth for adults into a middle grade comedy. A big leap, I know, and sometimes I trip up along the way. Some of my characters are humorous, but some are tragic beings who demand to be taken seriously. I’ve been trying to take a step back after I write each scene, and comparing how it supports/distorts the overall tone.

I have a habit as a writer (not just with this WIP) of setting a story up as a comedy, then getting bogged down in the weighty middle, and then leaping back into funny-land in the end. It leaves readers (and my characters) with emotional whiplash. So I’m working at establishing an even tone, playing it straight and funny consistently enough to ground my readers in a reliable world with consistent characters.


A Round of Words in 80 Days is the “writing challenge that knows you have a life.” You can join or visit other participants here:


  • Blog  for ROW80. A day late, but complete!
  • Encourage other ROWers. If I can’t remember, then I’m guessing it’s a fail…


  • Write ~3 scenes per week to make this work. Finished this goal early this week, but only because of the retreat. I’m gonna have to step it up to keep my momentum going.


  • Critiques for my crit. buddies!

2 thoughts on “WAVERING TONES

  1. Sounds like a pretty good week. I’m the type who writes voluminous rough drafts, then excavates them. Plotting loosely has helped with the middle, some – but I seem to need to explore many tangents there. Usually, they become undercurrents, so I don’t regret the messiness of it.

    It sounds like an intriguing concept!

  2. I sometimes struggle with tone in my stories. I’ll set out to write something light-hearted, but partway through I’ll find the story is much more serious than I initially thought it would be. (I’m sure you noticed this with “Good Old-Fashioned Magic.”) I like comic works, but I’m not sure I’m at all cut out to write them. It just doesn’t suit my writing style.

    Happy writing, Amelia!

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