[Today we're reading Ch. 24 It's the Thought Behind the Action That Counts: Creating the Tone of Your Screenplay, by Michael Tierno (2002).]
According to the author, tone is "the unified emotional quality" & is the reasoning behind the actions. p. 117-118.
(Maybe I'm dense, but this doesn't really clarify tone for me.)
But let's go with the "thought behind the action" theory. What does that look like?
ex. Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes often acts in erratic ways. Sometimes he is grandiose & jovial. Sometimes he's sullen & a recluse. The actions stem from Holmes' deductions and moods. He's dressed as an old man because he knows he needs to fool his observers.
His thought jump around, and so his actions also jump around. Thus, we get a definite tone of surprise and mystery.
WHAT I’VE LEARNED: I still think tone is hard to pinpoint. To me, it's how the story is told - cheeky, solemn, funny, sad.
[DISCLAIMER: I have not been asked, nor paid, to read or comment on this book.]