72 Ways to Describe Sound


Since novels rarely include pictures, audio, color, or anything multimedia, their power to captivate lies entirely in words. How we authors describe action, surroundings, setting, and characters determine whether readers will not be able to put the book down or will throw it into the trash. Here are a few suggestions for describing sounds in your novel.

A note: These are for inspiration only. They can’t be copied because they’ve been pulled directly from an author’s copyrighted manuscript (intellectual property is immediately copyrighted when published).

ducks not in a rowOutside

  1. Somewhere a dog barked
  2. Muffled music pulsed from a building to our right, boomed as a patron emerged
  3. The white noise whoosh of traffic from Soldiers Field Road was rhythmic, almost lulling.
  4. The call of the muezzin echo from the mosque loudspeaker out over the rain-slick street
  5. The rasp of leather on rock
  6. A hush in the dark
  7. The wind made the various…

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