W is for Writing in the Real World
Writing in the real world is not the same as writing stories. Emails, text messages, tweets, and Facebook statues are treated differently than creative writing. I’m not just talking about the lack of capitalization, punctuation and grammar, but how they are received.
When we write stories, we control everything about it from the tone to what happens. We are also writing about characters we control. Everything they say comes from our minds, and everything they do is part of our plot. We even create their thoughts. Our descriptions hijack our reader’s minds, making them see and feel exactly what we put in our books. Nothing more, nothing less.
However, when we no longer have this creative control we can’t make the people reading our words see and feel what we want them to anymore. That is what occurs when we email or text, causing our written tone to be taken the wrong way and our words to be misconstrued.
This happens to me occasionally. If I am having a conversation with someone that isn't face-to-face (or voice-to-voice) I rely on my writing skills to get my point across or to explain my feelings. Since my writing skills can be pretty powerful, some things I write can be read wrong even if I am very careful with my word choice. I can’t tell you how many times one of my sisters got upset with me because she read what I wrote with a tone I did not intend.
With my creative writing though, the tone and meaning is exactly what I want it to be because I control every aspect of it. I wish I could do that in real life!
QUESTION: Has your writing tone ever been taken out of context in emails or texts?
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