The mood/tone of a book can be and should be a significant consideration in any book you write. It’s a background aspect to the story that helps shape the reader experience and expectations within a story. It’s also one of those things as a writer, where a little bit goes a long way. You don’t need to swamp the reader in it for it to have an impact. Now, while one might typically think of setting as the most likely source of material to establish this, it’s just as important to consider it in all aspects of the storytelling, from action to dialogue.
My writing style does not include a lot of description. I’m not eloquent in the details. I might go far as to say that I’m a pretty sparse writer. I rely a good deal on action and dialogue to drive my stories. As much as I love the notion of setting as character, I have not developed a knack for it. Perhaps one day I shall, but for now, I have to rely on what I already do with relative competence in order to set the mood and tone of my stories. For the type of story I write, which tend to be on the darker and grittier side, I must look at lot at what my characters say and what they to achieve this. If one word could sum up the best way to do this, it would be consistency.
I suppose this goes without saying, but consistency is paramount to good storytelling, in all aspects of writing. A story falls apart without it. Nothing throws a reader off more than characters or plot or tone suddenly changing for no apparent reason. If your mc is a brooding, swearing, prone to violence character, you can’t have them suddenly acting all bright and bubbly. In Deadworld, the world is not a cheerful place. Bad things happen, life is a struggle, people die, and circumstance conspire to leave any sort of HEA in doubt. How the characters talk, what they do, the results of their actions, who they interact with, all need to consistently portray a world that is not a joyful place to be in (which is not to say there isn’t hope, because stories without hope are just depressing).
So, when you’re writing, pay close attention to the details of what your characters say, what they do, and how they do it. Staying consistent within this will go a long way toward keeping the tone of your story believable and the reader immersed.
Happy reading/writing everyone!