By this point, we’ve put so much work into our stories, we believe there couldn’t be anything left to handle. The plot’s cohesive, the stakes are high, our characters are compelling, we’ve kept the reader interested to the end… Everything is as it should be. Then we edit. Only to find our story doesn’t read as it should, things can be worded better, overused words and phrases that need to be cut or substitutions found…
The story elements we use determine whether our readers will laugh, cry, or be sickened or excited. Tone is the emotion you want to convey to your reader. How you want them to feel when they read your novel. It affects the story’s mood and draws attention to your word choice. Portraying the wrong emotion can turn a horror story into a comedy or a romance into a thriller.
Every voice is unique. The words we use, sentence length and structure, pacing and rhythm, tone, our use of description or lack thereof. You’ll never find two people who talk exactly the same. We all see the world in a different light, and the way we describe it to others is defined by our background and life experiences.
Every first draft will turn out differently depending on the writer's process. Some people outline every little detail beforehand, while others go with the flow. There are no set rules to follow. So, the only goal you should have in mind is to finish the story.