I think sounds are the hardest thing to describe. I say this, because I\’m trying to describe someone\’s voice in my current book. I can hear this character\’s particular voice in my head, she sounds exactly like one of my dear friends in college. Funny, I haven\’t talked to her in almost twenty years, yet her voice still stands out in my head. Of course I would give it to one of my favorite characters.
The goal, I would say, is to take the voice in my head and describe it so you could hear it in your head the same way. But I\’m not sure that could be done, not without a bonus cd or Mp3 file with the book. So the challenge I guess is to remind the reader of someone they have heard with a similar voice. Because we probable all know someone with the voice. Thing is, I could use some forties actress for an example, but readers my age or younger would be left out. And can\’t use current stars/celebrities with similar voices, since they weren\’t even a twinkle in their daddy\’s eye. Shoot, their daddy\’s weren\’t even twinkles for some of them.
But is it the exact sound I\’m looking to convey, or the quality. Like one character has a smooth voice, a with a lilt to it, like she just came from a church choir rehearsal and wasn\’t done singing yet. One character has a fake breathlessness to her voice that she learned from her mother. Kind of Mae West, but more phony, because she won\’t speak to women in the same tone. And main character\’s voice, kind of raspy with the hint of a permanent case of laryngitis. Which makes her singing really awful. She really can\’t sing. The couple of mentions of that have been edited out, but it does tell you something about the character. Does it bother her she can\’t sing. Don\’t know, I\’ll have to ask….