1. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Trying to describe a growl-like sound in a more disturbing way

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Mallory, Jul 14, 2011.

    So I'm trying to describe the noises made by these creatures in the woods...it's kind of like a growl/howl combination (low-pitched) with some scratchy undertones, and the creature also makes snuffling noises...but the way I've described it just now doesn't sound that scary at all....any tips?

    If there's other noises that are more unsettling than that, go ahead and share, I'm open...

    I'm doing a lot of editing and am very happy with my draft overall, but I want to make these noises scarier and I'm not satisfied with what I have at all!

    Thanks!
     
  2. J.P.Clyde
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    J.P.Clyde Prince of Melancholy Contributor

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    Hrrrrrrwrrrwrrr [trust me I make all my sound effects with my mouth. I wish I could record where I'm going with this, but I can't.]


    For the scratching:

    Crkkkcrrkkkscrkscrk
     
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  3. CottonCandi
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    CottonCandi Active Member

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    There is nothing scarier than a low, deep throat growl, you could add foaming at the mouth too. And the eyes, don't forget the eyes.
     
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  4. pyrosama
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    pyrosama Member

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    I would try and work with a few metaphors because a reader would experience the sound that you compare. Example:

    She heard a scratching sound as if a chicken were scratching upon sandpaper. Not scary huh? But you can imagine what that sounds like because you know chickens have claws and if those were brushed up against the sandpaper, you just know what sound it would make. If in a dark forest, you heard that sound, that makes it scary.

    I love to use metaphors
     
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  5. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Thanks, I agree on the metaphor thing, and the chicken one would work.
     
  6. WriterDude
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    WriterDude Contributing Member Contributor

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    Leilana felt a strange cold feeling come over her, even though it was really warm and humid in the forest. The others felt it too. They felt it more than they heard it. In a forest like this, there should be sounds. Birds should sing. Insects should buzz around happily. Yet there was not a sound. Wait. Leilana flet goosebumps on her skin as she heard it. Somewhere in the distance... or close by? She couldn't tell. She heard a low sound that reminded her of a waterfall, or earthquake. It was a low growling from a large creature. She felt it more than she heard it, but it was definitely there. And it was coming closer. Somewhere in the distance a twig snapped as a tree was brushed aside. How big was this creature? she wondered. Every instinct in her body told her to run, but run where? Everywhere she looked, all she saw was the quiet forest. Even worse, it was hard to tell where the sound came from. It could be miles away ahead of them... or directly behind them, just out of sight. It was imposible to tell.

    How about something like that?
     
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  7. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it could have a lot to do with the build up to the growls and strange noises

    Set the scene up right and a kittens meow could be really scary.
     
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  8. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Thanks guys, +rep. :)

    I guess what I mean is metaphors or similes that make it seem scarier...I've written lots of horror, and I know how to build up, but I want to describe the actual noise in a way that's more unsettling than just saying it sounded like a wolf/bear/vacuum cleaner. It's supposed to be extremely unnatural.
     
  9. Ubrechor
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    Ubrechor Active Member

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    Perhaps the sound rips the throat as it is made. That implies it is unnatural and harmful in some way. "The harsh growl ripped from its throat."

    Or something similar.
     
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  10. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    He turned, alarmed by the strange throaty growl coming from somewhere behind him. But there was nothing. The sound was deep and menacing, it spoke of animal power and primal savagery, and worse then that, hunger, but there was nothing there.

    Bit flowery perhaps, but I think it works.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
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  11. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    thanks guys :)
     
  12. flipflop
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    flipflop Senior Member

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    The usual nightly noises of the forest came to an unnerving halt. Not a single sound was made (put name here) stopped still the hairs on her arms rising in alarm(go on abit about deafening silence etc building ambience). All of a sudden (put name here) froze a single twig snapped in the trees followed by a low gutteral growl. (put name here) tried to imagine what had made the strange noise(etc)then she heard it again but closer (put name here) reached slowly for her (put weapon here) a (put second disturbing sound here) came this time etc

    i think its not the sound its the ambiance you have to build up describe more of the involutary reactions that people have when scared and the scary words will fit
     
  13. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    Hey Mal,

    Why does it have to be a growl at all? Wouldn't it be creepy if they see the creature, or traces of it or its shadow or something, but it sounds like something completely different? Some non sequitor sound that doesn't fit the creature at all, in a kind of dreamlike way.
     
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  14. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    a gutteral snarl.
     
  15. Batgoat
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    Batgoat Senior Member

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    Work with the basic sound and then describe how listening to the sound makes your characters feel. As you said in your original post, the words themselves aren't what is scary, but rather, how the characters in your story react to them.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Instead of focusing on the sound itself, consider describing characters' reactions to the sound.
     

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