Utilization of Sounds in Writing

December 28, 2009 at 10:28 am (Sounds in Writing) (, , , , , )

Sound For Words

Yes! Sound is important in the world of words too. Sound is God! –As declared by our ancestors. Sound and its impact are well-known from the Vedic Culture, though almost all over the world, scholars and seers know its value. Sound in very important to create the drama or even to give your writing a real touch. Any piece of writing has a life of its own, now imagine a life without sound; it will be mute like something is missing in the whole scenario. Sounds give your writing a soul.

A writer has to be very patient and observant to collect different types of sounds that shall be used in his writings. Sound is required to set the mood. Like a marketplace is best described as- vendors shouting to attract customers or flies irritating by their ‘zooz zooz’, women bargaining, kids crying for their desired toys, motors honking, and fruit sellers chanting. All this clearly sets the view in front of the reader. This can be done only when a writer has collected all these sounds while he was at a market.

Sounds need not be only of material things around but they can be

Sounds Express

of  particular activity or expression of people. Such as ‘ah hah‘ – used when you stumble upon something interesting, ‘chuckle‘ – sort of small laugh, ‘aachoo’- used to represent the sound of a sneeze, ‘gurgle’ – baby talk or sound of water, ‘thump‘ – heavy footsteps, ‘ugh‘ – to express disgust, ‘awww‘ – mostly used to sympathize. Sounds are usually to explain the expression or to give a special effect to a situation.

Writing Sounds

While writing, representing sound by words is like giving background music to a scene. Readers imagine what they are reading and that is in form of pictures and movements and that has to be spiced up by sounds to create the desired effects on the mind of reader. This can be explained as; – at mid night you listen to a dog bark. – At midnight you suddenly hear ‘bhow bhow’; both the lines mean same but later one has more effect than the previous. That is what you call ‘special effects’ while writing!

There are many types of sounds that a writer can make notes of like:

  • Mood sounds – which set the mood, like sounds in a marketplace or a movie hall or any place that has its own particular sounds.
  • Evocative sounds – which inspire emotions or feelings such as, ‘gee‘ – surprise, enthusiasm or sympathy , ‘he he he‘ – a sly laugh, ‘sniff’ – when you have a bad cold or are crying, ‘giggle’ – small laughs, ‘splat’ – sounds like a cake just landed on someone’s face, sobbing – hiding a cry, even a ‘fart’ (if loud) evocates a surrounding!
  • Rhythm – the sounds produced due to placement of words like – sample, example, ample, ankle- if you place these words differently you will get different sounds or ‘babe in blue bikini’ – here the rhythm may differ depending on the reader’s gender.
  • Dialect – is the regional version of a language. You may call it as accent like- opportunity is pronounced differently in different regions or English is ‘englis’ in some rural regions especially in India.
  • Eaves-dropping – is listening to something that is not said to us. This is like over-hearing sounds while just passing by or listening to others conversation. It’s like if you hear to different people while they talk on phone you will notice each one of us has a unique style that is different from their way of speaking normally or face-to-face; for instance, a ‘hello’ can be ‘helo’, helllo’ or ‘helooo’ depending on person to person.

    Its Your Sound

All these ‘special effects’ are very important while writing to build a stage, character development and even while description. Sounds are used according to the writer’s collections of sounds, his background, effectiveness and his style.

May be that is why, a writer writes but a reader looks for – how the writer sounds!

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