Narrating Sounds

Photo by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

As a writer, I spend a lot of time describing things, and I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to do it. Through my research and experimentation, I have found that narrating sounds can be a powerful tool to describe a scene or set the tone of a work.

Narrating sounds is the easiest way to improve the vividness of your descriptions. I feel it adds a lot of subtle richness to your writing. But, of course, you should always use words that sound natural in the world of your story.

  • Bang
  • Bark
  • Beep
  • Bellow
  • Big
  • Blare
  • Blast
  • Blat
  • Bleat
  • Boisterous
  • Bong
  • Boom
  • Bray
  • Buzz
  • Cackle
  • Cacophonous
  • Cheep
  • Chime
  • Chirp
  • Clack
  • Clang
  • Clank
  • Clap
  • Clatter
  • Click
  • Clink
  • Cluck
  • Clunk
  • Crack
  • Crackle
  • Crash
  • Creak
  • Ding-dong
  • Drip
  • Drum
  • Fizz
  • Glug
  • Gnash
  • Gobble
  • Grate
  • Grind
  • Groan
  • Growl
  • Grumble
  • Grunt
  • Gurgle
  • Hiss
  • Hoot
  • Howl
  • Hum
  • Jangle
  • Jungle
  • Knock
  • Mew
  • Moan
  • Moo
  • Murmur
  • Neigh
  • Patter
  • Peal
  • Peep
  • Ping
  • Pop
  • Pound
  • Pow
  • Pulse
  • Purr
  • Put-put
  • Rap
  • Rat-a-tat
  • Rattle
  • Ring
  • Rip
  • Roar
  • Rumble
  • Rush
  • Rustle
  • Scream
  • Screech
  • Scrunch
  • Shriek
  • Sizzle
  • Slam
  • Snap
  • Snarl
  • Snort
  • Splash
  • Splutter
  • Sputter
  • Squawk
  • Squeak
  • Squeal
  • Squish
  • Stamp
  • Swish
  • Swoosh
  • Tap
  • Tear
  • Throb
  • Thud
  • Thump
  • Thunder
  • Tick
  • Ticktock
  • Tinkle
  • Toot
  • Trill
  • Twang
  • Twitter
  • Wail
  • Wheeze
  • Whine
  • Whir
  • Whisper
  • Whistle
  • Yap
  • Yelp
  • Zap

Writing about sounds can be easy or difficult depending on how you approach it. I hope that the prompts I gave here will help you write more vivid stories with sounds that come alive.

If you still have a morning commute, I find that being alone in your thoughts while going through the motions is an educational opportunity to work on your novel, poem, or screenplay by making you more observant. There are myriad sounds that you can work with and name on your own. Who knows, you might even come up with a word that’s not on this list.


I’ll tell you why revision is the best part of writing in your complimentary 15-minute consultation.

Guilliean Pacheco, your friendly neighborhood creativity concierge

http://writeropolis.start.page

Guilliean Pacheco (she/her) is a writer and editor of Filipino heritage and the host of the City of Writers podcast. Her work has appeared in TechTarget, Nevada Humanities, and Helen: A Literary Magazine. She has an M.F.A. in Writing from the University of San Francisco and is an Anaphora Arts poetry fellow. She’s a misplaced California girl who lives in Las Vegas normally, if one could call living there normal, on Southern Paiute land. Follow her on Twitter.

Use Your Words