Using the sense of sound in writing can help ground the reader in the scene. Think about it, the distant echo of a police siren, or the slap of running shoes against concrete. These are things that help fill in the surroundings, complete them even. Using a character’s - and in turn the readers - sense of sound can also ramp up the emotion in a scene. Picture a woman, alone in a house when the lights suddenly go out. As she waits for her eyes to adjust she hears a sound. Is someone in the other room? Outside her window?
Being an author of both romantic suspense, and contemporary romance with a dash of suspense, I’m a fan of the latter use of sound in a book. Typically, I throw in sounds as a way of intensifying emotion.
Red lights were flashing everywhere. Men in turnout suits were swarming out of fire trucks. One of the men saw her and grabbed her shoulders, causing her to cry out. He said something, but she couldn’t hear him over the roar of the fire and the noise of the sirens as more emergency vehicles pulled up.
Isabeau shook her head, trying to communicate. Her vision grayed, her knees weakened, and he tightened his grip when she would have fallen over. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t draw enough oxygen into her lungs. Gasping, she put up no resistance when he scooped her off her feet and carried her to the nearest ambulance.
Then, everything went silent as she slid into darkness.
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