Using the sense of sound in writing. ( + 2 bonus lists.)

Last week I covered the sense of sight but this week I’m talking about the second most used sense hearing.IMG_5310
Hearing isn’t a popular topic among writers and doing research for this post was hard because of the very few sources.

Important places to use sound.
Dialog.- this doesn’t need to be over used but to describe what a person’s voice sounds like can really help bring that character to life.
Scenes that take place in busy places.- letting your readers know what sounds can be heard helps build the picture of the chaos in the scene.
Action scenes.- okay so this one depends on your action scene but I think that the sense of sound can if used right help build suspense. Adding a little sound here and there like the sound of a sword whistling through the air can really help bringing the scene to life.

43 Words describing voices.
1. Breathy. Loud breathing sounds can be heard with the voice.
2. Thin. High and unpleasant to listen to.
3. Brittle. Sounds as if you are about to cry.
4. Dead. They show no emotion.
5. Appealing. Shows willingness to help, approval or agreement.
6. Fruity. Deep and strong in a pleasant way.
7. Gruff. Has a rough low sound.
8. Gravely. Is low and rough.
9. Disembodied. This voice comes from someone you can’t see.
10. Small. Is a quiet voice.
11. Hoarse. If someone is hoarse it is normally from lack of water or coughing and their voice is low and rough.
12. High pitched. Has a very high sounding voice.
13. Croaky. The voice is rough and sounds as if the person has a cold.
14. Adenoidal. It sounds as if they are speaking through their nose.
15. Guttural. Is a deep sound that seems to be made in the back of the throat.
16. Low. Quiet and deep.
17. Monotones. The pitch and volume of the voice doesn’t change and indicates boredom.
18. Nasal. It seems as if the person talks through their nose.
19. Husky. Deep and hoarse in an attractive way.
20. Flat. The pitch of this voice does not change.
21. Honeyed. Sounds nice but untrustworthy.
22. Raucous. Loud and rough.
23. Grating. Is unpleasant and annoying. Can be a laugh and a voice.
24. Penetrating. Load and high to the point being unnerving and uncomfortable.
25. Silvery. Clear, light and pleasant.
26. Rough. Is not soft and is unpleasant to listen to.
27. Orotund. Loud and clear.
28. Quietly.
29. Shrill. High, loud and unpleasant.
30. Smokey. Sexually attractive in a mysterious way.
31. Taut. Shows that the speaker is nervous.
32. Strident. Load and unpleasant.
33. Sing song. The voice rises and falls in a musical way.
34. Ringing. load and clear voice.
35. Plumy. Typical of a person of high social class. Using this word shows your dislike of the person.
36. Strangled. Is a sound that is stopped before the person is done making it.
37. Thick. Is full of emotion and hard to understand.
38. Matter of fact. Show someone’s behaviour as a know it all.
39. Throaty. Low and seems to come from deep within the throat.
40. Tight. A tight voice shows that someone is nervous or annoyed.
41. Tremulous. This voice is not steady.
42. Wobbly. This voice goes up and down normally because you are frightened or about to cry.
43. Wheezy. Is a sound made by someone who has difficulty breathing.

10 Useful sounds to add to fight scenes.
1. Footsteps.
2. Breathing.
3. Gunshot.
4. Rattling chains.
5. Screams.
6. Drip of water.
7. Whistling sounds of a sword flying through the air.
8. The clash as swords hit each other.
9. The crack that bones make when broken.
10. Twigs that are stepped on.

How you use the sense of sound is up to you. Personally I like to use it in small measures tosimply bring scenes to life.
How do you use the sense of sound? Do you use a lot of it as a main feature for your descriptions or are you a little more reserved?
Is there anything you think I should add to one of these lists?

I hope you found this useful and that you will be back here next week for my post on the sense of touch.

2 thoughts on “Using the sense of sound in writing. ( + 2 bonus lists.)

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