Words are fun and can be even more so when they sound like what they are. These words can brighten a sentence and give the reader a clear image of what they are hearing or would be hearing if they were in fact part of the story.
I’m talking about onomatopoeia. An odd sounding word on it’s own that’s for sure.
Onomatopoeia is defined as the formation of a word such as Woof, Bang, Buzz, Hiss or Pop that are written as they sound. Or, the word itself sounds like the action or sound it is associated with.
We use these words everyday and they are easily found if you do a simple google search(opinions can somewhat vary). Words such as Pow, bang, thunk and pop became popular with comics and are still used for them. Words like moo, baa, ding, honk, chirp ect are often found in childrens stories, rhymes, songs etc.
Let’s see if I can put some in a bit of my story.
Amber who stood outside the office lost in thought, in memory of Friday. So far today she’d managed to avoid Scott.
Amber looked up, frowned and reached out connecting her hand to Scott’s face with a smack.
His hand flew to his cheek as she took a step back. “I suppose I deserve that.”
“To say the least.”
“I’m an ass, I’m sorry Amber please talk to me. Don’t run.”
She crossed arms and let out a huff. “Why should I?”
Scott jerked his head. “Look I know I crossed the line. It was wrong; I was wrong.”
“You scared the crap out of me Scott! You do realize I’m an emotional basket case right now. I don’t need you tearing me down or freaking me out.”
Scott scratched at his throat. “I know, I know, again I’m sorry. Look I’ll make it up to you. I was wrong. You know we’re friends and I got a bit messed up about some stuff.”
“Dale explained. Still…Why? Why did you attack me? It was like you wanted to…”
“I wouldn’t have actually forced you. I was upset and drunk and I’m sorry.”
Amber stepped forward glancing down and grimacing at the crunch of a snail beneath her shoe. She looked back up and narrowed her eyes at him. “Swear to me you’ll stop being weird, that you’ll never, ever again accuse me of lying about the baby. Swear you’ll never threaten or try to touch me that way again.”
“I won’t.” Scott ran his hand over his mouth choosing his words carefully. “It was a mistake I swear.”
With a short sniff Amber nodded curtly. “Okay.” She gave him a pat on the arm and turned to go back inside missing the smirk on Scott’s face.
I don’t know if I’d normally use so many since they would likely end up as more of an action word like smacked or crunched or whatever. But for this they worked okay. onomatopoeic words seem to appear more commonly in comic books, children’s stories, songs, rhymes or poetry. I think I’ll take a closer look at my action/violent scenes and see if any made their way in. If not i might add one or two.
What’s your favorite onomatopoeia word?
My advice about onomatopoeia.
They are fun and can be fun to use. I recommend giving them a try. If you have them leave them don’t snip them out or whoosh them away.
Other posts I wrote sort of like this one
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