Monday, February 18, 2013

On Onomatopoeias

Happy Monday, good people of the blogosphere! How are you all today? I hope you're all rested from the weekend. This week I'll be going over some of those things you might be using in your writing and some you may not. So, grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going! Today, the onomatopoeia!
My design professor used to give bonus points the first day for anyone who knew what an onomatopoeia was (yes, he was a bit strange; but all good design professors are). So, let's start with the definition:

Onomatopoeia /ˌänəˌmatəˈpēə/ Noun 1. The formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g., cuckoo, sizzle). 2. The use of such words for rhetorical effect.

Okay, now that you know what an onomatopoeia is, how do you insert one when writing? I'm a sucker for consistency. If you do something one way, keep doing it that way throughout the entire novel, please. This talk of consistency goes back to forward vs forwards and backward vs backwards. If you do it one way, stay with that way.

You can set an onomatopoeia apart by either using quotes or italics. Generally, if the word is a recognized one, you don't need to do anything to it to set it apart from its brethren.

Examples of how an onomatopoeia might be used:
John looked at Marsha sitting on the couch and moved in for a kiss. Her sitting down position wasn't doing it for him so he grabbed her hand.
"Oomph!" she said as her body slammed into his.

Marsha walked away from John and headed toward the couch. She sat down with a plop and adjusted her skirt so he couldn't see her knees.

John left Marsha standing with her mouth open and headed for the pool. He hit the water with a sploosh and doused her with spray. He came up on the other side, grinning at the hot mess he'd left behind with his kiss.

There's also no need to use punctuation along with the onomatopoeia. However, it's there if you need it! Just be sure and keep it with the word; either inside the quotes or italics.

I hope this post got you thinking. Tomorrow is the official release day for The Bird! If you haven't already, go enter the giveaway for a copy of The Bird over on Goodreads. I'm giving away two signed copies! Contest ends on the 28th!

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!

Jo

2 comments:

  1. I love that you did a post on onomatopoeia! It's one of my favorite words =) Good luck tomorrow with the release!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Fun to write about, fun to say :) hehe I hope the release goes off without a hitch... Thanks for the well wishes.

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