Diction is the tone of an author’s writing.
- word choices
- sentence structures
- style of expression
- figurative language
Authors use diction to
- describe action
- reveal character
- convey attitudes
- identify themes
- show values
J.K. Rowling’s diction in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone:
Mr and Mrs Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much …
Mrs Dursley was thin and blonde and had nearly twice the usual amount of neck, which came in very useful as she spent so much of her time craning over garden fences, spying on the neighbours … Mrs Dursley pretended she didn’t have a sister, because her sister and her good-for-nothing husband were as unDursleyish as it was possible to be. The Dursleys shuddered to think what the neighbours would say if the Potters arrived in the street. The Dursleys knew that the Potters had a small son, too, but they had never even seen him. This boy was another good reason for keeping the Potters away; they didn’t want Dudley mixing with a child like that.
View these excellent examples of formal diction, casual diction, and slang, as well as positive and negative connotations based on choice of words.
Diction also applies to poets, speakers, and characters (selection and pronunciation of words).
All the posts: Components of Literature A to Z
A Glossary of Fiction Writing Terms, scribendi.com
Difference between voice and diction, answers.com
Glossary of Fiction Terms, highered.mheducation.com
Glossary of Literary Terms, buzzle.com
Literary Devices, literary-devices.com
Style, Diction, Tone, and Voice, wheaton.edu