Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Blogging
No matter how long you’ve been blogging, there is always more to learn. As part of the Weekly Writing Challenges, once a month, we’ll be highlighting a feature in the WordPress.com Dashboard and challenging you to incorporate it into your blog. We want to help you take full advantage of all the tools available on WordPress.com to make your blog the best it can be — and to make your friends jealous of your web wizardry.
To participate, tag your posts with “DPchallenge” or leave a link to your post in the comments. Please be sure your post has been specifically written in response to this challenge; obvious attempts to link-bait will be deleted. We’ll keep an eye on the tag and highlight the week’s best posts on Freshly Pressed each Friday.
Sound plays an important role in writing. Rhythm makes a story flow; alliteration and rhyme have long been used to add variation and interest to literature. Anyone who remembers their high school English class has had lessons about iambic and dactylic pentameter drilled into their writing repertoire.
For this week’s writing challenge, highlight the role of sound in your posts through writing about a sound that’s important to you, or by experimenting with different tones and styles. Want some ideas to get started?
- What was the best sound you ever heard? Are there any sounds that immediately stir up memories for you? If so, what is it? For example, I grew up near the beach, which means the piercing squeak of seagulls conjures both the joy of summertime and the tragedy of having endless snacks snatched by the overly aggressive birds during my childhood vacations.
- Remember this Freshly Pressed post about tone and text messages? Tone plays a significant part in any type of communication. After all, who hasn’t walked into work and wondered if the, “G’Morning” coming from your coworker was said in a sleepy haze, gruff anger, or sorrowful groan of a day pre-caffeine. What does tone mean to you, and how can a simple note in speech change the meaning of an exchange?
- Instead of adding sound, what about removing it? Some of the most challenging writing prompts involve limiting what you can and cannot use. Have you ever tried writing a sentence without the hard sound of T’s butting up against your teeth? Better yet, that should read, “Have you ever pursued scribbling sans the sound of one symbolic figure we call ‘T’?”
For an intermediate challenge, think of creative ways that you can incorporate sound to enhance your story, using this guide to embed audio files into your posts.
For an advanced challenge task, try WordPress.com’s Post by Voice, which allows you to literally phone in an audio post to your blog. The full instructions for setting up this feature are available here. If you’re not seeing the Post by Voice column on your My Blogs page, be sure to check that it’s been enabled in your Screen Options.
Do note that when you phone in an audio post through Post by Voice, it is published automatically, so you may consider using a private blog to store your audio file if you’re not ready for a full-fledged voice post. If you need help, let us know in the comments — we’ll be here to answer questions.
The ties between sounds, writing, memory, and tone are intricate. Whether writing while wrangling words with similar sounds, or describing a noise in such detail that it feels like your reader is there alongside you, the words we write will always be both read and heard by our readers. At the Daily Post, we can’t wait to see what you do with the musicality of your posts.