Writing Assignment: Describing Sound

by Randy Murray on April 23, 2010

If your goal is to become a better writer, you need to practice. Here’s your writing assignment for today: write a short description focusing what you are currently hearing*.

Sound is one of the more difficult senses to relate in writing. Sound envelops us, even when we limit our other senses. Close your eyes and you still hear. Immerse yourself in uniformly warm water and you still hear. We can’t close our ears – we have to stop them up, cover them over. Even while sleeping, sounds penetrate and influence our dreams.

Even in the most silent environment, we can hear our own breathing, our movements, even our own heart beat. Sound is so much a part of our natural existence that it is often overlooked. It is very difficult for many writers to stop and ask, “What do I hear?”

For today’s assignment, write a short piece describing what you can currently hear. Describe what the sounds simply and if possible, directly and without resorting to metaphor. When you are satisfied with your work, give it to a reader and ask for their comments and responses.

Here’s my example:

“It is spring and a joy to open my office window while I work. The birds have been busy at the feeder all winter, but now I can hear them happily chirping and singing. There are few leaves, mostly buds; the soft regular breeze rustles my curtains. But the continual rumble of the distant highway is a distraction. That low, constant hum of trucks and the higher whines of passing cars makes me wish my office were far away, removed from the unending roar of that great loop around the city. When the wind picks up, it muffles the unwelcome noise. It’s enough to keep me from closing the window and hiding in the silence of my room.”

You may leave your completed assignment in the comments section below.

Click here to view and complete previous writing assignments.

*If you are hearing impaired, work on an example using a sense of your choice.

  • Share/Bookmark

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: