D is for Diction and Dursley | #AtoZChallenge

Diction is the tone of an author’s writing.

It includes

  • word choices
  • sentence structures
  • style of expression
  • dialect
  • 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:

GIF from giphy.com

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).

GIF from giphy.com

All the posts: Components of Literature A to Z

C is for Crisis versus Conflict

Sources

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

About Eva Blaskovic

I am a multi-genre author of literary fiction and fantasy, and writer of non-fiction articles on parenting, writing, education, health, and travel. My background encompasses both the sciences and the arts. I teach at a specialized clinic for learning difficulties and mentor young authors. In addition to writing and teaching, my passions are weather, Indian food, gardening, and music. I have played eight musical instruments and spent many years immersed in taekwondo and karate. In my youth, I was an avid canoeist. I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, grew up in Ontario, Canada, and moved to Alberta in 1988, where I raised four children.
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9 Responses to D is for Diction and Dursley | #AtoZChallenge

  1. Now that I know Diction, gonna try them sometime! 🙂 And Thank you for opting Potter examples.. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Iain Kelly says:

    This is building into a great resource for an aspiring writer. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Theme Reveal: Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2017) | Beyond the Precipice

  4. danawayne423 says:

    I am liking this series!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: C is for Crisis versus Conflict | #AtoZChallenge | Beyond the Precipice

  6. JJAzar says:

    For me, diction is the backbone of writing. It’s fascinating to me. There is so much nuance involved! The Harry Potter example was spot on. Seriously cool of you to put this together, Eva.

    Liked by 1 person

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