122 pitch words to set the mood in your story (2023)

122 pitch words to set the mood in your story (1)

In writing, an author's tone is their general attitude or feelings about the subject and audience of the work.Pitch words are used to express this attitude.

In this article, we'll talk about what tone words are, discuss their usage in several examples, and provide a list of tone words with definitions that you can use in your writing.

What are tonal words?

Authors convey tone through diction (word choice), point of view, and syntax.Pitch words are specific words that help express an author's take on a topic.

Words usually have a positive, negative, or neutral connotation.Pitch words help writers show whether they feel positive, negative, or neutral about what they're writing.

Here are some examples of tone words in action:

  • The proposal is so absurd that it cannot be taken seriously.

The tone word "absurd" indicates that the author finds the statement ridiculous or silly.

  • The politician's speech was eloquent.

The tonal word "eloquent" has a positive connotation, indicating that the author found the speech articulate and persuasive.

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Voice of Tonevs

Many authors confuse tone and voice or use the two terms interchangeably.In fact, they are very different.

As we have already discussed,Tone indicates an author's or character's attitude toward a particular topic or situation. In nonfiction, tonal words indicate what the author is thinking. In fiction, tone words can help set mood by showing whether a particular situation or interaction is tense, happy, sad, and so on.

The voice, on the other hand, refers to the overall personality of a work.An author's voice can be sarcastic, informative, friendly, or something else entirely.

You can remember the difference like this: the pitch is constantly changing. Voice refers to the character that a piece has at any given time. The pitch can change from phrase to phrase while the voice remains constant.

Here is an example:

In a young adult novel, the author has a casual voice. He doesn't use a particularly complex vocabulary and his writing is very accessible. Throughout the story, the character experiences conflicts and triumphs. In conflict scenes, tonal words indicate tension. In scenes where there is triumph, the tonal words indicate joy.

The author's general mode of word choice and writing approach remains the same throughout the work, but the specific words she uses will change as she describes different situations.

In other words, voice is how readers recognize you, the author, in your work. The voice is personal to each author and lasts throughout a piece. Tonal words, on the other hand, indicate the author's (or character's) reactions or opinions about the events taking place. As different events occur, the tone changes.

122 pitch words to set the mood in your story (2)

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How to find the right tone for your work

Finding the right tone for your work requires considering your audience and your message.

Start by asking yourself these three questions:

  1. Who am I writing this piece for?
  2. What am I trying to say to my reader?
  3. How do you want my reader to feel?

Your audience will dictate the type of words you choose.If you're writing for an academic audience, you may use more complicated language than if you're writing for children. You also need to consider what you are saying to your reader. Do you want them to leave with a positive or negative opinion of what you are presenting? How do you want them to feel about the information you give them?

These questions will help you decide which words to use in your work.

Analyzing sound word examples

Let's look at two examples of tonal words in classical literature.

A clean, well-lit place by Ernest Hemingway

"It was very late and everyone had left the cafe except for an old man who was sitting in the shade of the tree's leaves against the electric lights. During the day the road was dusty but at night the dew settled on the dust and the old man liked to sit up late because he was deaf and now he was calm at night and felt the difference.”

This extract exhibits a calm and peaceful tone. Words like "calm" and "calm" indicate that the senior is relaxed and feels secure.

The Telltale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe

"I gasped, but the cops didn't hear. I spoke faster, harder, but the noise grew louder. I stood up and discussed nonsense, loudly and with violent gestures; but the noise steadily increased. Why wouldn't they have gone? I paced, heavy-footed, as if angry at the men's remarks, but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! What can I do? I foamed, raged, cursed!

This passage from The Tell-Tale Heart indicates a nervous and anxious tone. The expressions "violent gestures" and "heavy steps" show the upward movement and increase the sense of intensity.

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The ultimate list of tone words

These tone words will help you set the tone for your work.

Ton Wort



relocate or relocate; also fascinated


ridiculous; Nonsense.


an accusatory tone; Charged with a felony or misdemeanor


admonish, scold or scold; particularly friendly and well-meaning; Remember


look with appreciation, love and respect; to honor


pleasantly funny, busy or funny.


having or showing little or no emotion; indifferent or indifferent


characterized by or expression of benevolence or friendly feelings.


completely confused or confused; confused.


sarcastic, with a caustic or sarcastic tone.


It is characterized by intense antagonism or hostility.


suddenly; blunt.


not flinching or afraid of danger or rejection; bold and daring.


suddenly; blind; hard.


devoid of excitement or passion; Don't worry.


Frank; Open


in a good mood.


critical or meanly harsh.


Fun; fun.


imposing; he exudes superiority.


have an overly positive opinion of yourself or your abilities.


quarrelsome, quarrelsome


roughly short or abrupt


has an urgent need, a desire.


impartial or objective; disinterested; impartial/unaffected; the distance.


devilish; devilish; outrageously bad.


has no belief in; deny or reject the belief.


to express contempt or contempt.


cause nausea or disgust. Offend taste or moral sense.


show a lack of respect; impolite and impolite.


characterized by symptoms of mental illness.


uncertain outcome or outcome.


Of or pertaining to theatre; too confrontational.


cause sadness or sadness.


sincere in intention or sincerely celoso.


full of enthusiasm or excitement; cheered up

in Ecstasy

in a state of ecstasy; in ecstasy.


unreservedly or unduly demonstrative.


They go; arrogant; indifferent to the well-being of others; egotistical.


very happy or proud; jubilant in a good mood.


feel embarrassed or uncomfortable.


get extremely angry; Fury; Fury.


enthusiastic; energetic


ambiguous; enigmatic; obscure


emotionally excited; touched


inappropriate; Light


superficial; simply; little deep; ruthless frivolous


powerful; energetic; Naturally; assertive


respectful; artificially; thorough; following accepted styles/rules


honest; direct; Apartment; As a matter of fact


nervous; sad


kind; taken into account; Light; soft


Indulging in the disgusting or disgusting


serious; scruffy; depressing; humorless; macabre


naive; innocent; ignorant


insensitive; hard heart; inflexible


deferential modest


Fun; fun; playful


overly critical; splitting hairs; moody


impartial; neutral; Goal


full of emotions; combustion


supplicant; beg


trusting childish


Nonsense; Folly; Idiot; absurd




unbelievers; unconvinced; Survey; suspicious


nervous; nervous; dissatisfied


instructive; thorough; instructive


encouraging; smoothing


Serious; passionate; focused; deeply felt


trusted; informal; confidential; confessional


the opposite of what it means


Disrespect for things that are normally taken seriously


bored; having had too much of it; lack of enthusiasm


positive; optimistic; Happy; sublime


critical; Find mistakes; pejorative


carefree; relaxed; Speaker; humorous


lovingly; shows intense and deep concern


terrible; terrible; gruesome


wanting to harm others or seeing others suffer; malicious; vicious


ruthless in the nice


despicable; ridiculous; make fun of someone


Duel; Whine; unhappy


innocent; unsophisticated; immature


self-admiration; egotistical; arrogant; self-compassion


disgusting; awful; disgusting; violent


unhappy, pessimistic


reflecting on the past; wishing for something from the past


despite; without discrimination; just; based on facts


hopeful; Happy


angry and resentful; furious; Very angry


Frank; honest; spoken unreservedly


Express pity, sympathy, tenderness


condescending despicable; pompous


reflective; introspective; philosophical; pensive


convincing; eloquent; influential; plausible


see the downside of things


theoretically; analytically; rational; logical


full of fun and good humor; good-natured jokes


Realist; sensitive


affected; artificially; splendid; rhetorical; noticeable


apologetic forgiveness


insulted; insulted; disgusted bitter

Give up

accept; dissatisfied


checked; Don't worry; Emotionless


shows deep respect and appreciation


morally correct and fair; innocent; religious; fear of god


critical; Combustion; merciless; hard


express contempt or mockery; bluntly; despicable


thinking about feelings, especially when reminiscing about the past


honest; TRUE; Serious


this is not fun; seriously; serious

Taken into account

taken into account; serious; absorbed


open minded; charitable; patient; legal; indulgent


catastrophic; catastrophic


modest; modest; Happy


concerned; uncomfortable; turned up; high tense


legal; just; Moral; Challenge


picturesque; playful; harmful; eccentric


intelligent; intelligent; Fun


concerned; admiring fascinating


fearful; stressed; fearful

Tom's Words: Final Thoughts

Introductory words help convey your attitude towards a topic. The tone may change as you work as you talk about different topics.

There are thousands of tone words you can use to express your attitude towards your work.

that follow?

reading O Grande Gatsby for class or just for fun?Then you should definitely take a look at our expert guides on the most important topics in this classic booklove and relationshipsAmoney and materialism.

I have questions about Arthur Millerthe crucible?Read our in-depth articles to learn more about itThe main themes of this workand to geta complete synopsis of all characters.

For more information about your favorite literary works, go toBox our collection of high quality book guides!

Do you have friends who also need help preparing for the test?Share this article!

122 pitch words to set the mood in your story (3)

Hayley Milliman

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About the author

Hayley Milliman is a former teacher-turned-author blogging about education, history and technology. When she was a teacher, Hayley's students consistently scored in the 99th percentile thanks to her passion for making subjects easily digestible and accessible. In addition to her work for PrepScholar, Hayley is the author of Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females.

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How do you set a mood in a story? ›

Five things: creating an atmosphere in your writing
  1. Use sensory detail. All five senses – sight, sound, touch, smell and taste – can be effective in creating a strong atmosphere. ...
  2. Hold an image or word in your head as you write. ...
  3. Inhabit your imaginary world in your daily life. ...
  4. Limit your imagery. ...
  5. Focus on the language.
May 21, 2021

What are 10 examples of tone? ›

Examples of tone in a story include just about any adjective you can imagine.
  • scared.
  • anxious.
  • excited.
  • worried.
  • foolish.
  • smart.
  • depressing.

What is the mood in the story? ›

Mood is the emotional atmosphere within the story produced by the author's use of language. Pay attention to the way the author describes the events, the setting, the way a character reacts to what is happening, and the final outcome of the conflict or resolution of the problem.

What are examples of mood? ›

Mood is how the author wants the reader to feel, as a result of reading (or watching) their work. The mood of a piece might be funny, sad, creepy, cheerful, nostalgic, curious, and so on.

What to say to set the mood? ›

11 Things Your Partner Can Say That Will Get You Instantly In The...
  • "I'll get the baby." ...
  • "You look hot." ...
  • "I'll ease all your stress later." ...
  • "I'll get you another glass of wine." ...
  • "I want you all to myself." ...
  • "Let's go to bed early tonight." ...
  • "The kids are staying at grandma's tonight."
Jun 16, 2016

How do you write mood in a sentence? ›

Examples from Collins dictionaries

His moods swing alarmingly. She was obviously in a mood. The government seemed to be in tune with the popular mood. They largely misread the mood of the electorate.

What are 5 examples of tone? ›

18 Examples of Tone Words in Writing
  • Cheerful.
  • Dry.
  • Assertive.
  • Lighthearted.
  • Regretful.
  • Humorous.
  • Pessimistic.
  • Nostalgic.
Jun 7, 2021

What is tone and mood examples? ›

Tone often describes the writing overall, but the mood of a piece of writing can change throughout it. For example, at the death of a character the mood could be depressed or sad, but at the discovery of a long lost friend, the mood could be upbeat and joyful.

What is tone in writing 5 points? ›

Tone is the way that you say something in a piece of writing. What the author feels about the subject is often defined as the tone. What the reader feels because of this tone is known as the mood.

How do authors set the mood? ›

Authors can generate a story's mood through different techniques—all of which are done through the use of language, of course. Setting, imagery, character reactions, and conflict outcomes can all affect the mood of a story.

What does it mean to set a mood? ›

to set the mood: to create the ambiance, the atmosphere. idiom.

What sets the mood of a scene? ›

How you describe a scene, and what your point of view character notices, sets the tone of the scene. Generic words that apply to any situation do little to create a mood. Common or clichéd words and imagery give the sense that readers have seen this before, so they know how it's likely to play out.

How do you set the mood in creative writing? ›

Here are four simple ways to establish mood in your novel.
  1. Explore Theme. What's the theme of your novel? ...
  2. Use the Setting. Setting can set the mood. ...
  3. Choose the Right Language. The choice of words you use make a huge impact on how the reader feels about the characters and each scene. ...
  4. Set the Pace.


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