oil on canvas, 1908.
Engage the senses, they say.
We do that.
Birds tweetle, engines roar-le, females sigh-le.
And we also introduce the aural component in judicious dialogue tags and careful similes.
But whether our characters whisper or weedle, how often do we describe the character's voice itself? Precisely, the character of that voice?
A very good question raised by Seeley in a recent post.
And do we do it without recourse to the careless shorthand of cliche?
I'm rather tired of whiskey voices, velvet voices and silken voices.
Also, the nasal voices, whining voices and chalkboard voices found in unattractive and minor characters.
Consciously or not, we deduce a lot about people purely by the sound and effect of their voices. Grammar, accent, style are subsequent. The silver-tongue is not a myth. Neither is the bene gesserit weirding way.
To approximate a reader's reaction, imagine a voice out of the darkness. First contact.
Halloo the camp.