During the discussion on tone last week, I read posts and kept quiet. I didn't always agree, but what I was looking for was the right way to illustrate the distinction between voice and tone.
I think Joelle summed it up brilliantly yesterday, and that means I don't have much to add. However, I did find something that illustrated the difference between voice and tone, to me, that I think may help some who are undecided about the distinction.
As I discussed last week, I was raised on country music. I still listen to a fair bit of country, and I like a lot of country songs.
I'm also aware that in order to succeed in country music - like almost anything - there's a need for a certain image. My awareness of this doesn't change the fact that it's taken me a long time to warm up to the band Sugarland.
The reason? Jennifer Nettles.
I don't want it to sound personal, but the reason had to do with feeling conflicted about the emphasized twang in her singing.
My first exposure to Jennifer Nettles that I recall was her duet with Bon Jovi.
I've heard her in interviews as well, and again, the southern twang is barely noticeable.
But with Sugarland? It's pretty obvious, and seems to be emphasized.
Don't get me wrong - there are some Sugarland songs I do like. But the inflection in her voice, as well as the overall emphasis of her songs with Sugarland vs other work emphasis the difference between voice and tone. Her voice is her voice. Tone is what she emphasizes with her voice depending on the type of work she's doing, or who's interviewing her.
I don't see tone and voice as the same thing. As Joelle, and Steve said: Voice is the writing style unique to the author. Tone is the color and attitude of those words.
I couldn't say it any better than that.