Descriptive Writing Exercise – Sound/Hearing

In this section we’re going to cover sound. The actual sense is hearing, but it takes sound, or something making noise, for us to hear.


Sounds can be hard to convey in writing. We all know something can hit the floor with a thud or a squeaky hinge can make a screeching sound. But what else is there?


The sound of waves crashing against the shoreline, birds singing or chirping. Many of these tend to be overused, but sometimes there’s simply no easy way to describe sounds without using the old familiar stand-by words.

Exercise 1:

Write a scary scene describing the sounds someone might encounter when they’re scared, or running from something. Good backdrops are the woods or an old abandoned building.


Exercise 2:

Write a calm and peaceful scene describing the sounds someone might hear at the beach, or on the playground, or at a family reunion.



Dried leaves crunched underfoot as I made my way through the woods. It was hard to be quiet in a forest in late fall. In spring and summer you hear the chirps of birds, the occasional bark of a squirrel because you’ve disturbed him, and sometimes it’s simply the silence.

In fall, the squirrels are foraging through the dead, dried leaves to find nuts, the birds aren’t so cheerful. You know the sound of winter is coming on. The cold sound of nature sleeping, as if it’s barely alive, with slow, shallow breaths of hibernation. Fall is alive with the popping, snapping, chomping sounds one makes just by walking.


Descriptive words to consider using:

  • Bawling
  • Hissing
  • Rapping
  • Squawking
  • Whining
  • Muttering
  • Rustling

Read all the posts under the descriptive writing category by clicking this link.

Happy Writing!