Tag Archives: sound effects

It was a Dark and Stormy Night. | IRISH FIREBRANDS: A Novel ~ and Other Works by Christine Plouvier, Indie Author

Inviting all Indie Authors to stroll with me down memory lane….

It was a Dark and Stormy Night. | IRISH FIREBRANDS: A Novel ~ and Other Works by Christine Plouvier, Indie Author


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Are There Birds in Your Book?

One of the many varieties of plover.

Perhaps there’s a setting or a scene that you want to help your reader to hear: instead of just listing the names of birds that may be present, why not describe and/or phoneticize the bird songs or calls?

An adventure story which takes place outdoors is a natural setting for evoking environmental sound effects, but even a contemporary story in a small town setting can include a description of bird vocalizations. In this simple but alliterative description in the beginning scene of a chapter, the noise made by the birds is contrasted with the mindset of the character:

STRIDENT sparrows quarrelled on the windowsill, but as Dillon listened, serenity suffused his soul.
~ Irish Firebrands, Chapter 19

Phoneticized bird vocalizations (also called mnemonics) just means using onomatopoeia to represent sounds as words. These websites provide good examples:



The explanation below includes a list of descriptive words that can be applied to bird sounds (click on the image to download the document):

If you want to develop your own lexicon of birdsong mnemonics (or if you just want to become better acquainted with your feathered neighbors), click on the screen shots to access two databases of bird calls and songs:

BTW, when I play these recordings, it messes with my cat’s mind: he thinks there are birds hiding beneath my computer desk, and is puzzled when he can’t find them! 😀


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It was a Dark and Stormy Night.

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford


Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, by Henry William Pickersgill

It rains a lot in Ireland, so it rains a lot in Irish Firebrands, too – and yes, there’s even a stormy night chapter….

How often does nature (storms, earthquakes, dawn, dusk, stars, moon, sun, wind, animals, plants, etc.) appear in your fiction?


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