Monday, March 16, 2009

A while back on my SCBWI list there was a discussion on how to write sound into dialogue? What I mean by that is if you're going to need to write a creepy sound, do you just write a sound like CRNNK or is it more effective to evoke the fear earlier on in the story so that you don't need the sound? You already have the fear by association and so when it's time to use a sound word you don't even need the actual word. I think making sure your character gets nervous when he hears a certain noise without having to write the noise is more effective. And you can do this by writing fear into your character when a certain memory comes to his mind but you have to be careful and not get carried away with this either. There's a fine line here too? Anyone have anything to add?


  1. I don't have a lot of experience with this technique, but you could also do it the other way around. Explain what the sound is earlier on and then later, whenver you write the sound word, CRRRNK, then the reader will know that it is a very frightening time.

  2. I think one of the keys is to not overdo it. If possible, make a comparison sound (i.e. The wind blowing in the trees sounded like flutes) rather than onomatopaeia. But sometimes, the sound itself is the perfect key.

  3. Hey, how are you doing? Hope all is well.


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