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  • Writer's pictureMegan DiMaria

What do you hear when you're reading?

I know of authors who listen to certain soundtracks while they're writing to inspire them to write with emotion or to add authenticity to their story. Today, let's consider what sounds the reader hears while reading a book.

It's important to incorporate sensory details (sight, sound, touch, smell, taste) into a story to transport your reader. One of the details that I appreciate when I'm reading is a narrative that conveys the sounds the characters are hearing.

If the setting is outside, perhaps in a wooded area, I'd like the author to find a unique way to describe these sounds. I'd like the description to deepen the characterization of the protagonist—tell me if the sounds are soothing or terrifying, depending on the character's circumstances.

If your character is in a city, this is what is what I'd expect to hear at some point in the novel. What would the character be thinking in reaction to this city noise? Stress? You can use the background sounds to add dimension to your character.

Or perhaps your character is at the beach and this is the background noise to an important conversation. How would that sound enhance your story? How could you work it into the theme of the book?

It's windy today in south Denver. The sound of the wind can add tension and drama to a story. You could write about the sound of dried leaves scudding across a parking lot or a tree limb groaning as it rubs a fence or it can add whimsy as the wind tickles a set of outdoor chimes.

Just thinking and hoping I've inspired you to think as well.


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