O is for Onomatopoeia
Today's post is adapted from one I used previously - I've had a lot of dental work this week and am just not zippy with the ideas today.
One of my favourite Onomatopoeia words at the moment is 'nom nom nom', the sound of Zombie Dog eating brains... and for just 2 days you can download MY ZOMBIE DOG for FREE!
Descriptive words that sound like an action or noise when spoken out loud, create the effect of onomatopoeia. For instance, the word to describe water falling in small portions from a tap is called a drip - drip, drip, drip. Poets tend to have a natural talent for using onomatopoeia words, but they can be effective in fiction as well, especially if you're writing for a younger reader.
If you are anything like me, you can sometimes get overwhelmed by all these literary devices and rules that we should be including in our writing. My humble advice is... just write your story, when you go through in your revision you can tighten your plot, characters and writing style. These sound words are simply another way of showing instead of telling.
Imagine writing about a bad guy pointing a gun at his intended victim - instead of saying he shoots its, the simple word. 'BANG' lets the reader know what's going on and can make them feel like they are there. Here's an example of sound words I'm using in The Warracknabeal Kids:
THWAT (slingshot shoot at poor innocent chicken)
AUWK! (sound made by poor innocent chicken)
Sometimes I find examples that I don't think sound like the real action at all (like a dog saying 'woof' or 'Zzzzzz' for snoring). Really listen to actions and try to work out what sound they make, I've used: 'Hmmnn, Hmnnn?' for a puppy's whine. Have some fun with it :-)