The Sound of Tinkling Steel
Quick blog post for you tonight, before I record a new Don’t Lose Your Headline. Remember that? The comedy podcast with crazy news stories, hasty bluffing and megaswears? The last one was a Christmas special, so I recommend you catch up, lest you miss out on 2015’s premier ad-lib Santa haiku.
This one’s for fellow writers, I suppose. I was making a cuppa tea (I have it here now. Still nice and hot. Asda brand… so you know, middling) and it struck me how much I like the sound of the spoon rattling around the cup as the tea is stirred.
A few inches of stainless steel, tinkling against a porcelain rim, as sugar, milk and tea are stirred together into a tasty beverage. The sound is very commonplace, but I was struck with a sudden feeling of well-being, which I realised was a sort of sound memory. I associate that sound with home, with mum’s tea, with getting home from work or school or getting up on a wintery morning and being comforted by a boiled, evergreen shrub from Asia.
Seriously, though; I realised that I love that sound. I draw comfort from it, as I’m sure we all do, or if not from stirring tea then from other mundane sounds. This kind of memory/emotional response is familiar with smells, but less so with sounds, I feel. So my writer’s tip for the day is to think again about the sounds in your story; when setting the scene and describing all that the characters can sense, consider sounds both grand and mundane. They set a certain scale and tone that people often overlook. My tip for non-writers is to listen more and drink tea.
Right, tea’s getting cold. Have a good weekend, everyone!
PS. I’ll shout out when the new DLYHL is up, but you may consider subscribing at the bottom of the page, or follow me on my socials at the very top. Tata.