WRITING SOUND AND SILENCE
“Imagery” is the term we use to define description that appeals to the senses—and the visual image is often the first go-to when we’re setting a scene or introducing a character. Sounds and voices, music and silences often come secondarily—and this kind of imagery can foreshadow or introduce change, disruption, and/or instability. Sounds and silences help us as writers describe movement, whether physical, intellectual, or emotional. But how can we describe sounds and silences in ways that affect the reader? In this workshop, we will analyze examples of atmospheric sounds, voices, music, and different qualities of silence; consider how sounds and silences can serve as inspiration; and develop strategies for encapsulating sounds and silences in our writing.
Jennifer Solheim is the associate director of the BookEnds novel revision fellowship of Southampton Arts at StonyBrook University, and a Contributing Editor at Fiction Writers Review. Her short stories and essays have appeared in the Bellevue Literary Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Pinch, and Poets & Writers. She is the author of The Performance of Listening in Postcolonial Francophone Literature (2018, Liverpool University Press), and holds a PhD in French from the University of Michigan and an MFA in fiction from the Bennington Writing Seminars.
Sounds and Silences Handout.pdf
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