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Tone is a literary technique that is a part of composition, which encompasses the attitudes toward the subject and toward the audience implied in a literary work. Tone may be formal, informal, intimate, solemn, somber, playful, serious, ironic, condescending, or many other possible attitudes.
Visual imagery is perhaps the most frequently used form.
- The crimson liquid spilled from the neck of the white dove, staining and matting its pure, white feathers.
Auditory imagery represents a sound.
- The bells chimed 2 o'clock.
- Onomatopoeia: a word that makes a sound (crash, smash, shatter).
Kinetic imagery represents movement
- as in Wordsworth's poem Daffodils: "tossing their heads in sprightly dance"
Olfactory imagery represents a smell.
- His socks, still soaked with sweat from Tuesday's P.E. class, filled the classroom with an aroma akin to that of salty, week-old, rotting fish.
Gustatory imagery represents a taste.
- The sweet marinara sauce makes up for the bland sea-shell pasta beneath.
- Tumbling through the ocean water after being overtaken by the monstrous wave, I unintentionally took a gulp of the briny, bitter liquid, causing me to cough and gag.
Tactile imagery represents touch.
- The spongy soufflé was a pleasure to squeeze.
- The clay oozed between Jeremy's fingers as he let out a squeal of pure glee.
Similes and Metaphors
A simile is a literary device where the writer employs the words "like" or "as" to compare two different ideas. It can be a strong word to use as a describing word in a simile or metaphor.
- He flew like a dove
- I am as bold as a lion.
- He has a heart as big as the outdoors.
- Her eyes sparkle like a crystal.
- Her hair is like a sea.
- He is acting like a clown.
- I am as red as a tomato.
A metaphor is similar to a simile, however this literary device makes a comparison without the use of "like" or "as".
- He has a hyena's laugh.
- Her face is a garden.
- Her eyes were endless pools of beauty.
- His voice was an explosion of sound.
Suspension of disbelief
Suspension of disbelief can also be known as a leap of faith. Most authors state that any given story can only ask their audiences to make one leap of faith, and that more will strain their suspension of disbelief (eg. magic is real, as opposed to magic is real and there are vampires and the protagonist is an alien and somehow the Chosen One and an immortal god).
Suspension of disbelief or "willing suspension of disbelief" is a formula for justifying the use of fantastic or non-realistic elements in literature. It was put forth in English by the poet and aesthetic philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who suggested that if a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the implausibility of the narrative.
The phrase "suspension of disbelief" came to be used more loosely in the later 20th century, often used to imply that the onus was on the reader, rather than the writer, to achieve it. It might be used to refer to the willingness of the audience to overlook the limitations of a medium, so that these do not interfere with the acceptance of those premises.