As writers we have a plethora of tools at our disposal: Scrivener has taken cross-referencing and compiling research and resources to a whole new level of amazing, pinterest has delivered a feast of visual images that cannot fail to inspire, and google has become a go-to font of information for both the sublime and the mundane.
But as far as writing tools go, SoundBible.com has really turned up the volume.
I stumbled across the website by accident when one of my characters was standing on the edge of a thunderstorm. For the life of me I couldn’t recall the finer details of a thunder-clap; so I googled it, and found SoundBible.com. Not only did it have this actual recording of a thunder-clap, but it had thousands of free sound effects and sound clips.
Footsteps on gravel, galloping horses, flapping wings, frog chorus, raptor call, and my personal favourite – a lightsaber being turned on and off (there is a subtle difference), are only a few examples. If you’re having trouble capturing the nuance of a sound, chances are Soundbible.com may have a recording that will help.
Like any tool it isn’t going to write your story for you, but I’ve found it has encouraged me to open myself up to the sensory experience of my characters. If I’m listening to the wind in the trees, I’m more likely to consider the sharp scent of pine needles or the sticky smear of sap that won’t easily be wiped off.
I’m not suggesting you’d use it for every scene, but if you’re struggling to connect, this may be a useful tool.
Have you ever used sound clips to help you pin down a scene?
– Raewyn Hewitt