Tone: Where I’ve Been and Where I’m Going

As a writer who often gravitates toward the same academic, sterile and serious tone, the past two experiments have been very noteworthy. My first experiment consisted of a set of personal narrative vignettes documenting experiences with colorism between my childhood and now. The tone was vulnerable and reflective. I attempted to take a more informal approach to make my stories easier to relate to and connect with for the reader. After giving it more thought, I now understand that informal tone is not always synonymous with increased accessibility. Should I choose to continue building upon this experiment at the end of the semester, I’d like to explore the downfalls of using such an informal tone. How does this affect the way the narrative is received?

My second experiment was certainly closer to my comfort zone than my first. This experiment took the form of a podcast, structured with several different episodes to include interviewed guests and snippets of music or audio from pop culture, movies, songs or politics. The tone of this was informative and pensive. I wanted the podcast to stimulate questions and engagement with the listeners. While the tone more more formal than my first experiment, it was not formal to the extent of being professional or academic. As the goal was to bring listeners to moments of personal revelation, I tried to make the tone conversational and engaging.

For my third experiment, I would like to take a more investigative approach. I know I will be using photo and video for this experiment, but have not yet settled on the details of my experiment. I feel that to this point, I have placed too much knowledge in the writer and not enough in the reader. I would like to invite comment, dialogue, and discussion to whatever extent possible. The ideal tone for this experiment would be receptive and welcoming. We’ll see how this takes shape…

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