1. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    thud is too comic sounding

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rumwriter, Oct 7, 2011.

    I'm writing a scene where a character falls out of a tree, and the first sign of this is hearing it.

    They fall from high, so there needs to be a really loud impact sound, but I don't want to call it a "thud" because it sounds very....POW BLAM KAPOWish to me. It needs to be a very serious scene. Can anyone think of how to describe it?

    Sure, there will be a crack of bones breaking and all that, but I really need that impact sound. Maybe I should just write "She heard the impact---hollow and flat, but pounding and terrifying." or something.

    thoughts?
     
  2. Croga
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    Croga Member

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    Thud is fine. Thats my opinion its a decent word and if its a serious scene I doubt thud will undermine it. The odds of your audience debating the sound of falling out of a tree, because your word is also used in comics and then getting from serious to laughter is unlikelly.
     
  3. Croga
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    Croga Member

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    Thud is fine. Thats my opinion its a decent word and if its a serious scene I doubt thud will undermine it. The odds of your audience debating the sound of falling out of a tree, because your word is also used in comics and then getting from serious to laughter is unlikelly.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's nothing wrong with saying he 'landed with a thud'... doesn't sound at all comic-ish if not done as a sound effect... or, you could do as suggested above and simply describe the sound, instead of using a single word...
     
  5. colinbeckett
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    colinbeckett Member

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    The last time I fell out of a tree, I was surprised about how quiet the impact was. People aren't really made of extremely hard material, and normally the ground beneath a tree isn't either. Thud is a pretty good description of the sound because to me a thud is kind of muted. If you are really conflicted about the description of the sound, you could talk about your character expecting a much louder sound than what was actually heard.

    You might ask yourself if the sound is really that important. If it's not working for you, there's no reason why you can't focus elsewhere (although perhaps there is, having not read the scene).
     
  6. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    it's pretty important actually.

    it involves a kid falling from the top of a tree straight on his face and smashing it in. and the revelation to the teacher on recess duty is the sound. but yeah, that sort of muted sound is what i wanted.
     
  7. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    I would have never associated thud with comic books if you had never made the initial comparison. I think thud would work perfectly fine in this instance.
     
  8. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    You could try "crack" if you don't like "thud."
     
  9. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    No writer should try crack...oh wait you meant it as a sound.

    Jhunter: I think by comic, he means the series "Batman" in the 60's.
    When violence happened giant letters appeared saying:
    BAM, Boom, pow, thud.

    If used seriously most people would not associate the word sound as the comical.

    face first fall, might be a splat, like slamming an orange against the side walk?
     

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