How was your weekend? I’ll get to mine in a bit, but I have to say that it’s May 1st today. I really like blogging on the first and last days of the month–firsts get me energized and lasts make me reflective, I suppose.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
My weekend was pretty awesome. I went to a symphony concert. The symphony is actually a youth symphony, but it’s been running for 30 years, so they had a big concert (all of Peer Gynt, Water Music, and a lot more). I really, really enjoyed it–especially the jazz at the end, because I enjoy jazz (listening to it, playing it, and what-have-ya).
Before that, though, I went to a sports store and saw that the place had been picked over–they’re going out of business. And I couldn’t resist taking a picture (which I’ll be intending to turn into a pic prompt on Instagram if I can figure out how to do it…shouldn’t be too hard).
After the concert, the group I go with went out for Chinese food (and I love Chinese food).
You may know that I post about these concerts every so often. They really make me think–especially from a fiction and personal standpoint. In fiction, sound is hard to describe if someone doesn’t already know what the sound means. If I tell you I heard an oboe, and you’ve never heard one, it doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it?
Sound is still a powerful thing though. It’s how a lot of the world communicates. We watch videos online every day, and people talk to one another probably trillions of hours every day. Sound can also mean danger, like screeching tires, or joy, like a door slamming if someone’s expecting a visitor they like. That’s the type of impact sound has.
As writers, we have to work on narrowing things down, though, because different sounds can carry different meanings. If someone hears their brother cooking in the kitchen, what led them to that conclusion? Okay, that’s show, don’t tell. That’s awesome.
Now…is the brother a good cook? If he is, that’s pretty cool. If he ain’t, what happens next? Is he trying to get good? Or does what he comes up with still make dogs whimper when they sniff it?
Even sounds are filtered through peoples’ experiences in life. That’s why I mentioned about concerts impacting me personally. See, I’m a musician and I’d worked with this symphony for a lot of years. Music is something I enjoy a lot. For me, though, it’s something more than that. These concerts always mark the end of an era–this was the spring concert, so the symphony’s going to take the rest of spring and a lot of summer off. Which gets me thinking about possibility in my life, where I am, and where I’m going or would like to go next.
And all that comes, for me, from 90 minutes of awesome sound.
So if you ever get stuck for an angle for an email, dialogue, or a bit of description, ask yourself what your characters or prospects think about different sounds in their life, and go from there. You may be surprised by what you come up with.
Until next time,