1. LMThomas

    LMThomas Member

    Feb 28, 2011
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    Hearing your voice

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by LMThomas, Dec 6, 2017.

    Hi, everyone,

    I was looking for some help in writing a line. My MC hear's a shape-shifter with his voice talking to him on the phone.

    I wanted to drive home the weird feeling of hearing your own voice. Like when you hear a recording of your voice. Making an eerie feeling, kind of. I've always been criticized for telling and not showing.

    Here's what I have:

    After a few rings, a voice that sounded a lot like him picked up. It was weird, like hearing a recording of your own voice.
  2. Lifeline

    Lifeline Out of the Night Supporter Contributor

    Oct 12, 2015
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    I think it's less about the timbre and more about word usage. I know I don't know how my voice sounds on the phone ;)
    LMThomas likes this.
  3. PixelOwl

    PixelOwl New Member

    Dec 4, 2017
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    Abbotsford, BC, Canada
    Maybe instead of flat-out stating "it was weird", try to describe the weirdness in terms of how he reacts to it? I think that's the basic principle of "show don't tell". If it's an unpleasant sort of weirdness, consider something along the lines of:

    "He cringed at the tone . . ."
    "Something about it made him want to take a cold shower . . ."
    "The fragment of an echo sent a shiver down his spine . . ."
    "Like hearing a recording of your own voice, it made him want to stop talking."
    LMThomas likes this.
  4. newjerseyrunner

    newjerseyrunner Contributor Contributor

    Apr 20, 2016
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    Might be worth noting that most people don't actually know how they sound on the phone.

    We have three different ways we sound:
    1) The way others hear what we say
    2) The way we hear our own voice from mouth to ear
    3) The vibration inside our own skull

    The third one is the one that most people forget about and is the biggest reason that your voice sounds little like what you think it does. The bone transmits high frequencies easier, so we all think our voices are slightly higher than they really are.

    I also hear things that are extremely close to my own voice any time I talk to my brother or father, so even if I heard my own voice played back to me, I may not recognize it as such.
    Rosacrvx, BayView and LMThomas like this.
  5. Mrs.Smith

    Mrs.Smith Member

    Nov 6, 2017
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    Coastal Georgia
    I hate the sound of my voice - especially my laugh - but the only time I really hear it is recording voice mail or when the man is taking video of the animals and I'm talking or laughing in the background and I know it was me talking. I don't know that I would recognize it as my voice if I heard it out of context though.

    Another option is maybe there's someone else in the car. Your character puts the phone on speaker (because he's driving) and the other passenger recognizes the voice as your characters, gets a creeped out look on his face, and tells your character, "OMG, that's you!"
    Just a thought. Might take you less time to write in another character than it would to figure out the best way to write something so difficult to imagine.
    LMThomas likes this.

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