Wednesday Writing with the Senses — Hearing

Hearing, Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Alexas Fotos at Pixabay
Alexas Fotos at Pixabay

Traditionally those are the five senses.  I suddenly decided to rerun this mini-series on The Senses.  I originally did this series five years ago, so maybe it’s fitting.

In novel writing I try to involve all your (the reader’s) senses.  Today I want all of us to begin building a story together.  One by one, we’ll use all the senses.  More about that in a minute…

With each of these posts I’m asking you to please leave a comment with one or two words that my image-prompt for the featured sense brings to your mind.  Use either the “three Kermits” pictured above or use the beautiful foggy cemetery by Dan Antion below.

To begin this mini-series, I will select the sense of — hearing.

Part 1 — Hearing

All the senses can work together.  Descriptions of sounds can help readers see your story.  For example, here’s a snippet from Atonement, Tennessee.  I’ve shared it before.  I told this from Ralda Lawton’s point of view.  She was in a position where she could not see what was happening, but she could hear.  This happens early in the novel, before Ralda knows about any of the “supernaturals” in the town.  She’s just moved, and her cat gets outside.  Of course she follows the calico — to the cemetery.

I was sheltered by a big clump of tall bushes of some sort.  I thought they might be mountain laurel.  I could see the broad side of the mausoleum from there.  Shadows lurched violently against the stone crypt.  Big shadows.  Reflexively I drew back into the concealing vegetation causing it to rustle.  Then I heard a loud avian-like screech and realized that the shadow shapes might have been wings.  My heart hammered.

Foggy Cemetery, Dan Antion
Foggy Cemetery, Dan Antion

The noise escalated.  It definitely sounded like more than one creature was causing that ruckus.  Then I heard the cat hiss. 

I dropped the box of food I had brought to lure Lilith back, and ran toward the sounds; ready to use the flashlight as a club, and wishing I had something more effective. 

“Lilith!” I called.  Oh, let’s face it — I screamed!

As I ran out form the concealing mountain laurel a gust of wind buffeted me.  I tripped and fell on the uneven pavers of the path, just as the wind blew my hair, along with some dirt, into my eyes.  I couldn’t see at all for a moment, but I heard a lot of heavy rustling, scraping, shifting sounds.

Every time I thought I had half way cleared my eyes, the wind blew something into them again.  I struggled to my feet, desperately wiping my stinging eyes.  I heard soft footsteps coming toward me.

Your Turn!

Now it’s your turn.  Focus on one of the images above.  Really look at it.  Imagine yourself inside that image.  Look at the details of the subject and the background.  Now, with only a few words, leave a comment and tell me what you hear.

What did you hear?   

Open Invitation:  Maybe a few words aren’t enough — and that’s great!  If this inspired you to just write something or otherwise create anything according to the sense featured today, that’s even better!  If you want, you can use the comments to leave a link to your story or blog post.  Kindly link back to this post if you blog about what you wrote, cooked, painted, or photographed.

Your blog doesn’t have to be about writing.  Think about how you can make “hearing” part of your photograph, painting, or meditation.  Yes, meditation. Focus, one at a time, on each of the things you hear. Think about all the details of the sound and how it makes you feel. If that’s a bad feeling, move on to the next sound.  I should probably make a distinction between “sound” and “noise” so that we keep this positive.

Hugs on the wing!

Sadly, comments are now closed.

The Atonement, TN universe of urban fantasies

Atonement, Tennessee 


 The Glowing Pigs, Snort Stories of Atonement, Tennessee

Atonement in Bloom






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33 thoughts on “Wednesday Writing with the Senses — Hearing

  1. I’m sorry to do this, because most of us are having such a good time with this exercise. Plus, I love your responses to the prompt… But due to circumstances, I can’t keep up with comments today. I unfortunately have to close comments on this post.


  2. A great fun exercise Teagan. As I look at the foggy cemetery, I hear a hum. First soft, gentle, in the distance, but then it grows, becoming deeper, louder, until it seems to be coming from every pathway, every grave….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When I first looked at the graveyard, I heard nothing. It was quiet and peaceful. The second thing that came to mind was the sound of crickets. Not too exciting, I guess, but cemeteries don’t freak me out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great description, Teri. I doubt that anyone who has ever heard a cricket forgets the sound. Plus, “quiet” is a sound in itself.
      My therapist gave me a “meditation” that I think is really an exercise in focus. She called it 5-4-3-2-1. I don’t think the order is important, but she started with “Sight” — look intently, analytically at 5 things you can see, one at a time. Look at everything about them. Then 4 things you can touch… and so on. When she came to things I could hear it happened to be an extra quiet moment. “I can’t hear anything! Am I going deaf?” LOL. She reminded me that quiet is a sound too. It’s one of my favorite sounds. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Tee-hee! Pat you made me laugh out loud! That’s my sound contribution. LOL. I’m delighted that somebody heard a sound with the Kermits photo. Well done indeed. Hugs on the wing!


        1. Another April snow. I know that can feel like it will never be spring. I’ve really enjoyed my first winter here, not being a fan of snow or ice. But our weather has taken a cooler turn too. The nights have gotten nicely brisk. I *almost* need to turn on the heater at night. Hugs back!


  4. Thanks for the shout, Teagan and for using that photo. I used to love to drive by that cemetery on foggy days. I have an advantage over others in that I know what I heard there.

    It’s a small cemetery, dating back to the earliest New England settlers. In the main section, there’s a single U-shaped road. As I drove in, I heard a soft murmur drifting through the fog. The sound grew more intense as the fog blocked more of the road. Driving toward the sound made me anxious but I had no choice. The narrow road offered no place to turn around without disturbing the dead. By the time I reached the base of the turn, the sound was overwhelming and coming from all sides. The noise surrounded me as effectively as the fog

    Ok, that isn’t exactly what I heard. The cemetery is on a hill above a river. If you listen closely, you can hear the water.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! You had me with that, Dan — I thought it really happened until I got to the end. Thanks for giving background on the photo. I should have thought to ask you for it, and include it with the post. But I did this post so suddenly, mostly just using what I already had from five years ago. Anyhow, thanks for coming out to play. This is marvelous. Hugs on the wing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy you enjoyed it, Joanne — and even happier that you played along. “Blop” fits perfectly with my ideas on creative use of language. It was so evocative! I heard the “blop” sound right away. Hugs on the wing!


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