Slaying Dragons


Last month, I discussed alliteration and imagery.

Right now, I want to talk about tone. Tone reflects the feelings of the writer; it is the particular way the content is expressed. For example, a comedy’s tone can be whimsical and even silly. A romantic story can be melodramatic and fatalistic.  The writer’s choice of words can serve to set the tone. 

For example, let’s consider how a dreary tone can be established through literary devices, such as imagery and word choice. Let’s read my description of a trip I took to Dun Laoghaire.

Stone steps stopped at the heavy wooden doors. Rain, cool like melting ice chips, dripped from the frozen October sky. Splatter of raindrops against the cracked sidewalk beneath my yellow rain boots jerked me to a halt. Upwards, I turned my face. I stopped, felt the raindrops scatter, tickle my face. Just above me,  I turned my gaze to Saint Michael slaying the dragon. Swiping my chilled wet hands against my cheeks, I inhaled deeply and considered that my tears had blended so very well with the tapping of the October rain.

Raindrops, frozen, cracked, chilled, tears, these word choices create a dreary tone. The mood is one of sadness.

Stone steps, Saint Michael slaying the dragon, heavy wooden doors, evokes images in the reader’s mind. The use of  like melting ice chips is an example of a simile and it evokes an image of coldness.

Tone is controlled by the writer. The writer’s use of word choices and imagery sets the tone. In my story,  I chose to emphasize the tone of a sad, dreary day by detailing the continuous rain. In that little snippet of time, I saw Saint Michael slaying the dragon against the church’s stone wall in the rain and the image of him made me stop, swipe at my own tears. In that moment, my tears blended with the rain. His image represented to me at that moment (and even now)  hope that dragons can be slain no matter how dreary the moment, no matter how dreary the day.


I sincerely hope that these blogs are helpful to aspiring writers. I absolutely love creative writing. I am currently finishing up a novel. Please wish me luck. I plan to self-publish it. Also, don’t forget to buy my poetry book on It is “Life at the End of the Rainbow” by Jenny Andrews. Thank you so much. Let me know what you think.

Next time, I will discuss plot.

Thanks for reading!


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I am a published poet and short story writer. I have been published in SNHU's the penmen review. is the link where you can find my poetry and a short story. Previously, I self-published my novel "Bully Another Day," "Short Stories and Vignettes", and a poetry book "Spaces between the Pause" on Amazon/Kindle. Due to abysmal interest in my self-publishing venture, I have unpublished those three projects, as well as my poetry book "Life at the End of the Rainbow." However, I plan to be more aggressive in trying to find a traditional publisher for these projects.

4 thoughts on “Slaying Dragons”

  1. I visited your blog for the first time today and I just loved it…!!! Being a poet, I prefer reading blogs like your and today, I got one with amazing tips and suggestions to enhance my writing. Thanks a lot for this and You are most welcome to my poetry blog if you can spare a few seconds out of your precious time. Waiting for you there…


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