How to Write an Onomatopoeia
Because onomatopoeia is a description of sound, in order to use onomatopoeia,
- Create a scene which involves a sound.
- Use a word, or make one up, that imitates the sound.
Let’s use Ontomatopoeias!
1. For example, imagine the description of a car crash:
The car spun out of control and hit a wall.
In the above sentence, the car accident is described clearly, but it is boring.
Sentence with Onomatopoeias:
The car spun out of control with a “screeeeek” of skidding tires and and hit the wall, “kablam!” with a powerful crash and scrape of crushed metal.
The above description is more powerful and dynamic due to the use of onomatopoeias.
2. For another example, describe a typical morning’s breakfast being made:
I made coffee, an egg, and some bacon.
This sentence is straightforward and clear, but it is uninteresting. To spice it up, add some onomatopoeia:
Sentences with Onomatopoeias:
The coffee machine whirred into life and hissed as the coffee tinkled down into the pot. I cracked an egg which sizzled on the frying pan. After flipping my egg and plopping it onto the plate, I put some bacon in the pan, which spat and sputtered in the hot grease.
With the addition of onomatopoeia, a once boring description of breakfast is filled with movement and sound which imitates the energy of real life (and probably makes you hungry!).
When to use Onomatopoeia
Onomatopoeia can bring prose and poetry alive, from the quietest peeps and hums to the loudest crashes and booms. For this reason, onomatopoeias can be used when describing something in creative writing. Because onomatopoeia is more expressive than technical, it should not be used in technical writing such as manuals or research papers. Although fireworks make sounds like: boom and pow, this would not be an appropriate description of fireworks in a fireworks safety manual or essay on the history of lightshows.