Listening to Lure: 3 Ways Your Ears Can Bring Pleasure – to Your Readers (Part 2)

    Listening to Lure
    Listening to Lure
    “Woman lips whispering…” © Roman Prysiazhniuk.

    Welcome to part two of my advice on ways you can improve your writing skill. This week, it’s all about the ears. If this is a sensitive topic for you, then I completely understand. I shall tread lightly.

    Your ears can assist your writing, whether you sport them beneath a cute pixie cut or hide them behind a set of Princess Leia earmuffs. If the latter is true, then move that stuff out of the way and listen up. The human ear is a valuable addition to the writing process, so its defense must be heard. (Was that another pun?)

    What’s that noise?

    From hearing the soft-spoken whispers of “I love you” to the head-pounding blare of an emergency siren, our ears are subjected to a multitude of sounds on a daily basis. Learning to focus on sounds when we’re writing is the easy part; describing them is something else. The good news is that even the sounds that annoy us the most can add life to our stories.

    Consider a patient’s stay in a hospital room as an example. A distant beep…beep…beep… continuously sounded from somewhere down the hall. She finally succeeded in tuning it out when, tick…tock…tick…tock…, the clock on the far wall announced its presence. She sighed heavily, resting her head against her pillow and closing her eyes. Whirr…click…whirr…click… Her eyes shot open and to her left to present the noisy IV pump with a look of disdain. Whirr…click…whirr…click… Ugh! If only she hadn’t insisted on roller skating nude across that parking lot…

    What? You thought I might forget the cheesy humor? Not a chance. As someone who has experienced an extended hospital stay – and no, it wasn’t a mental hospital – I can personally attest to the ability of noises to threaten a person’s sanity. The scene above is an effective way to persuade your readers to pity or even empathize with the character in your story; but if you’ve never been confronted by these noises in person, a good episode of House should do the trick.

    She said what?

    The things people discuss in public are astonishing. Maybe they don’t realize you’re listening, or maybe they don’t care. In any case, it’s a writer’s dream. It’s called eavesdropping, my friends, and it does wonders for your writing life. Head over to your local park or grocery store and tune those sexy appendages into a conversation – nonchalantly, of course.

    People talk about everything under the sun while waiting in line to check out at a grocery store. Try this one on for size. The woman was trying to whisper, but her irritation caused her voice to carry. I was tuned in loud and clear, patiently waiting for my next storyline.

    “He’s always so careful when he’s driving, but this time…” she said, her voice trailing off as she shook her head.

    “What on Earth happened, Louise?” Edna asked.

    “He was looking over his right shoulder as he backed out of the parking space; and out of nowhere, this naked woman appeared out the back window. She was roller skating, Edna! Naked and roller skating!” Louise stood with her hands on her hips, anger fuming in her eyes.

    “Oh, good Lord!” The look of shock on Edna’s face was one for the books.

    “Well, of course, you can imagine his mouth hanging open and drool pouring out at the sight of her. I’ll tell you this, though: he was so awestruck that he stomped the gas pedal instead of the brake and ran that poor thing right over!”

    Edna gasped and placed her hand over her heart. “Oh, my goodness!”

    “Yep. Now, she’s confined to a hospital bed, probably wishing she would’ve had some clothes on.”

    I saw Louise smirk as she turned away, and I smirked too. My next story was in the works. Thank you, Louise.

    Yes, I know it’s hardly worthy of publishing; but if I wrote something you could actually use, then I’d be sabotaging myself. That being said, you can clearly see how eavesdropping can provide you with something slightly useful to write about. If nothing else, it passes the time in the checkout line.

    Let’s fly away!

    What good would ears be if I didn’t talk about their size and shape? Maybe you have ears that are perfectly proportioned, and people are always commenting on how cute they are. Nice. Maybe your ears are oddly shaped, or maybe they’re so enormous underneath those earmuffs that they’re threatening to escape. That’s okay. Some people think that big ears have a special gift. Remember Dumbo?

    How am I going to work this into my cheesy story, you ask? Get ready. She lay there staring at the ceiling with her bloodshot eyes and tightly clutching handfuls of the bedsheet as she gritted her teeth. Tick…tock…tick…tock… She wanted to scream. Whirr…click…whirr…click… She couldn’t take it any longer! She snapped her eyes closed and used every ounce of her remaining energy to conjure up the greatest magical spell of all time. Suddenly, the noises stopped. She opened her eyes to find herself hovering in the sky, the hospital a tiny speck on the ground below her. Her ears had grown tenfold and flapped like wings in the wind. She flew away never to return.

    Talk about unworthy of publishing. Ha! I’m not sure I could do much worse; but then again, time will tell. There is no doubt, however, that I have used ears in this story. I’ve also proven that ears can be used for more than just listening. You might’ve hated it, but my children loved it; so, maybe it’s publishable after all.

    Final Thoughts

    If we want to captivate our readers, then it’s necessary to use our senses when we write. However, I think we can also become so involved in using our senses that we forget to consider the physical properties of the sensor that is sensing the sense that we’re trying to make sense of. (Heh heh…) Sure, the little story I wrote was a bit ridiculous; but it’s not always about writing something sensational. Sometimes, it’s about getting out of a funk and simply getting some words on the page.

    Thank you for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post, and I look forward to dazzling you again next week.

    Candidly yours,

    Copyright © 2022-2024 Irene Bratton

    Plain-language Required Disclaimer:

    I am not a medical or legal professional. The information in this article is based solely on personal experience and my honest opinion. This article should not be considered either medical or legal advice, and may or may not be appropriate for your specific situation, the details of which are totally unknown to me.

    Accordingly, I cannot take responsibility for any adverse event which might occur if you choose to follow the advice given, in whole or in part, which you do at your own risk. Consider it “food for thought” rather than expert guidance.

    Please seek a qualified medical or legal practitioner for a professional assessment of your exact circumstances if your health, safety, and/or some other important aspect of your life is involved.

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