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pcarney
December 2nd, 2005, 07:11 AM
Do any of you write out sounds in your stories? I'm finding that I've put a fair number of them in my current WIP. I've always found this annoying, when used too often - but many things have gone boom in my story so far.
Just wondering if any of you had thoughts, feelings on this.

FriedEyeball
December 5th, 2005, 02:50 AM
Do any of you write out sounds in your stories? I'm finding that I've put a fair number of them in my current WIP. I've always found this annoying, when used too often - but many things have gone boom in my story so far.
Just wondering if any of you had thoughts, feelings on this.

- I think it can be really effective when complimented by something else; "His head collapsed with a sickening squelch," "Pift, Pift, Pift went the sound of the needle lasers scorching our cover. They kept us up all night."

Not exactly great writing there, but I like it.

- FE

Rocket Sheep
December 5th, 2005, 03:39 AM
How fine is the line between that and Batman reruns tho?

James Barclay
December 5th, 2005, 07:53 AM
I try not to for the very reason that they bring to mind cartoons. I'm reading a fantasy book at the moment. It's pretty good but on the first page, a barbarian fighter character uses 'Eeek!' and 'Gawk!' Now for me, it totally undermines the character, makes him look foolish. You go on to understand that he is anything but and he is a fine character, very well drawn. But this early use of words designed to be expressions of surprise etc as he runs from an enemy, still taints him.

I prefer to use words like 'detonation' or 'explosion' and let readers bring sounds to their minds that work for them, rather than 'boom' etc which try to define the sound.

NOM

Miriamele
December 5th, 2005, 08:48 AM
Personally I much prefer to use adjectives because, as others have pointed out, using "Boom!" and "Bang!" quickly brings to mind comic books and cartoons. It's not a good or bad writing thing, it's a cultural thing. :)

Dawnstorm
December 5th, 2005, 08:53 AM
I prefer to use words like 'detonation' or 'explosion' and let readers bring sounds to their minds that work for them, rather than 'boom' etc which try to define the sound.

But doesn't it depend on focus? What if the sound is what you need to bring over, and it's not clear what caused it? You can't say "explosion", if you don't know it is one. What if the sound is all you have?

Or on language flow? What if you want to interrupt the prose the way the sound interrupts the scene?

I agree, if they've been standing around a stick of dynamite watching the (wick? damn, I can't think of the word for that burning piece of string...), and then it - BOOM! - explodes. That would read kind of silly. Then again, it's all in the style. Who knows, perhaps it fits?

***

And barbarian fighters don't go "Eek"; they go "Aaaaarrrrggggh!" or "Rrrrrwwwwaaah!" ;)

MrBF1V3
December 6th, 2005, 01:39 AM
Personally, just about anything goes in a rough draft. I will even try things I don't really think will work. Besides myself, only a very few others will ever get to see it. If it works, good, if not, okay.

When I go back and start revising and editing, I'll often look at what I've done and say "Eeek!" then, -Baam-, it's gone.

On the other hand, if it's a character talking, he/she or it doesn't have to follow the rules of good grammer, and often shouldn't.

B5

BLACK HAMMER
December 6th, 2005, 08:32 AM
It's better to describe the action then to sound it out. Now if you write for comic books you have pictures showing the Action. Bang, Boom,and Pow is excepted.

sample:

Aric’s blood ran cold as his adversary turned to face him, drawing his weapon. The hilt was unusually long for a short sword, the blade wide at the base but quickly coming to a narrow point at the tip. The tracker recognized it as an assassin’s weapon of choice. His foe swayed back and forth in the murky shadows like a snake waiting for an opening to strike.

With blinding speed, Aric responded, drawing both his blades. Anger welled up in the hunter, his thoughts turning black. Assassin scum! I will give you a fight you will never forget! He allowed his strength to grow on rage.

“Fancy swords. Can you use them, Goran of Gelmore?” the assassin taunted Aric, waving his weapon, drawing closer. “We are not alone you know, gem merchant.”

Aric picked up the sound of a second set of boots long before the comment had been made, his senses heightened by the adrenaline flowing through his body. The woodsman pivoted, pressing back towards one of the sidewalls in an attempt to keep both opponents in front of him. The new enemy wasted no time and charged the tracker. Aric reversed his grip on the shorter blade, hurling it at the oncoming man like a finely balanced spear. Caught by surprise, the on-rushing assassin could not adjust his balance in time to avoid the flying steel. He cried out in pain as the sword buried itself in his chest. Aric had little time to react. He stopped his original opponent’s blade inches from his face with his own long sword.

The clang of metal rang out in the alley as sparks from clashing weapons revealed his opponent’s scarred face for the first time. His adversary was so close he could smell the man’s breath and hear the guttural snarls emanating from his throat.

The assassin withdrew from his failed attack, repositioning himself for the next attempt. Aric quickly glanced back to check on the status of the downed man. He was lying prone on the cobblestone street, clutching the short sword that jutted disturbingly from his chest. The woodsman drew a dagger from his belt, feeling more comfortable with a weapon in each hand. His remaining enemy’s heavier blade put his lighter, long sword at a distinct disadvantage.

“It would seem the odds are far more even now,” Aric said, placing the seeds of doubt in his opponent’s heart. The murderer no longer seemed as confident of a quick kill, his motions now jerky and sporadic. “Care to tell me where the bloodstone is? Or do you even know?” Aric questioned the assassin, hoping to goad him into making a foolish tactical mistake.

The tracker quickly gained the upper hand, backing his opponent into the dead end. With a few deliberate swings and thrusts, Aric put his would-be killer’s back against the wall. “Tell me where it is!” he demanded, using his long sword to keep the assassin at bay. With a violent lunge the murderer drove Aric back, giving himself some breathing room to maneuver. He swung his blade repeatedly, fighting like a man possessed by demons. Within seconds, he had forced Aric to retreat to where the other assassin had fallen on the stone street. The hunter did not realize just how far his foe’s attacks had forced him to withdraw. Aric fell backwards, tripping over the mortally wounded man in the street. The dying man, with his last ounce of strength, cut the hunter across the back of the leg. The dagger fell from Aric’s grip as his body hit the ground, cushioned only slightly by the now dead man beneath him.

His opponent loomed over him, knocking the sword from his grasp. “I don’t know who you are, but you are no gem merchant. No matter.” The assassin raised his blade high, his intent to split Aric’s head in two. The woodsman prepared to receive the deathblow. At least I died trying to save my friend, he thought.

Gildor
December 6th, 2005, 09:10 AM
This came from The Golden Torc, which im half way through at the moment, and suddenly the author uses the below, completely at odds to wahts she has wrote before ( unless i haven't noticed in the previous book )

Zap
" Oh well done," said Basil. " Split her right down the middle. Now off with the branches my dear."
Zap zap zap. Pammedy-pow-pow-pow

It had me in giggles for hours :D

BLACK HAMMER
December 6th, 2005, 09:28 AM
If you really need to use a Pow or a Zap, make sure in your writing you explain what the sound is for.


"BANG" the gun went off.

Now if this was in a comic book you would just need the word "BANG" attached to a picture of a man holding a gun.

Here I used "CLANG"

The clang of metal rang out in the alley.