I’m not a musical person. If I go for days without hearing music, I don’t notice it’s absence. If I flip off the car radio because the commercials are annoying, it will be miles before I realize that the radio’s been off for longer than the commercial break.
I realize this is strange. Most people crave music or some auditory input at all times…judging from the amount of headphones I see and the ubiquitous author interview question: what do you listen to when you write (or some iteration thereof).
No surprise, but this lack of paying attention to sound translates to my writing. My characters rarely hear anything other than someone else talking. I don’t talk about dogs barking in the distance or the cackle of birds in the trees. Cars may whiz by or leaves may rustle, but only visually. I treat those actions like there is no sound associated with them.
While in Eindhoven, Netherlands, I noticed the cross walk lights combined visual and auditory signals. A red figure meant, not surprisingly, don’t walk, and a green figure, walk. When either figure flashed, they were about to change. To help those walkers who can’t see, the signals had a slow pulse when the figure was red and rapid pulse when the figure was green.
I took a short video, so you can hear the sound, but the visuals are rather jumpy, so if you get sea-sick, be careful.
I know it’s simple and rather obvious, but since I don’t see that, rather hear that, over here, it was striking (or am I missing something over here?). Not only that, it made me wonder how I could better sync up all my senses into my writing.
Any suggestions for how?