I have this scene in my novel that I'm trying to write. There is this character who is on the boat, rowing. I don't know how to describe the sound of the oar touching the water as he paddles.

The sound that I want to be described is in this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU3at7LznS4

P.S. This is my first question on this site and I am a terrible writer. But I am trying to improve every day.

  • Hi Narciso! Welcome to Writing SE! Are you looking for the word 'splash' and it's synonyms? Looking for a particular word is beyond the scope of this SE (it would better fit English Language SE). So is asking what to write - we can't do your writing for you, after all. Or are you asking a more general question about describing sounds? If so, could you please edit your question to make it more clear? – Galastel supports GoFundMonica Apr 27 '18 at 7:19
  • 1
    I understood your question to be a general question about describing sound with your specific writing problem only as an example. We don't do "What should I write?" here, but we can help you with general guidelines and processes. You already used the technique tag so it looks to me like that is what you are looking for. You might want to edit your question though so that it is clear what you are searching for. Otherwise your question might be temporarily put on hold as off-topic. If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Have fun! – Secespitus Apr 27 '18 at 7:26

If you are having problems with describing sound leave it to the imagination of your readers - just state what is causing the sound.

If your characters can see or simply know that it's an oar hitting the water he can state for example how loud the sound of the oar hitting the water is or how the water splashes up while he is rowing the boat. Your readers will know that water splashing is not completely quiet and they will likely have heard something similar before in their life.

If you desparately need to describe something you can simply compare it to something you find easier to describe and that fits the mood. For example you could compare the sound of the oar hitting the water to the sound of a stone falling into a pond or if you need a darker mood as if someone's head was pushed under water only to be pulled out again a few seconds later. It doesn't really matter if it's a perfect description - if it fits the mood your readers will be able to imagine something and you can move on with your writing.

  • Thank you. This really helped me a lot. I'm so new in writing and I didn't take any writing classes. I just love reading novels and that is what made me start writing. I have these ideas in my head that I want to tell, and I'm having a bit of trouble doing it. Also, English is not my mother tongue. I tried to write in Filipino(my mother tongue), and it sounds obnoxious to me. Maybe because I only read English novels. Thanks again. – Narciso Samelo III Apr 27 '18 at 10:26
  • @NarcisoSameloIII Everyone starts at some point and there is no need to have studied writing or something like that. See Do I need to have a degree to become a writer? for example. Have fun! – Secespitus Apr 27 '18 at 10:28
  • Is there a site where I can submit a sample of my writing and get feedback from? I don't know anyone who also does writing or likes reading novels here. – Narciso Samelo III Apr 27 '18 at 10:46
  • @NarcisoSameloIII You might want to have a look at the question What are good places to post your work where it will be read by others? – Secespitus Apr 27 '18 at 10:47

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.