Due to technical difficulties my guest post with John David Anderson on "Sound Effects" for the A Minion Tour is going up today...instead of yesterday.
About the author:
John David Anderson writes novels for young people and then, occasionally, gets them published. Besides Minion, he is the author of Sidekicked, and Standard Hero Behavior. He lives with his patient wife and brilliant twins in Indianapolis, Indiana, right next to a State park and a Walmart. He enjoys hiking, reading, chocolate, spending time with his family, playing the piano, chocolate, making board games, chocolate, not putting away his laundry, watching movies, and chocolate. Those aren't his real teeth.
To find out more: www.johndavidanderson.org
You can haunt John David Anderson at-
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People always ask me if I was a comic book fan growing up, and while I was (and still am) a superhero fan, I didn’t exactly have a stash of comics under my bed. (Sadly I didn’t have a stash of anything under my bed. My mother was a clean freak; she actually moved the bed to vacuum underneath it. Weekly.) However over the years I have come to appreciate the medium and the way it combines text and art to tell stories. Though I don’t regret working exclusively with language, which can paint its own pictures when necessary, there are a few advantages comics have over novels when spinning a superhero yarn. Chief among these, for me anyway, are the kerblams.
Onomatopoeia. Yes, the word sounds like the name of a bowel disorder (“I’m sorry, Mr. Smith, but it appears you have a bad case of onomatopoeia”), but onomatopoeia would tell you that bowel disorders sound very different. That’s because onomatopoeia is just a fancy of way of saying “sound words.” You know, like meow or yeowl or hurrrk-hurrrk-hack-hurrrllllrrrrkkkk…all sounds my cat makes.
Comics have the advantage of those spikey bubbles with literally awesome-sounding words like bam, biff, splat, kerthunk, and the now famous snikt, which is either the sound of Wolverine’s claws coming out or my pants splitting in back when I bend over. Unfortunately most novels shy away from using too much onomatopoeia, resulting in narratives that are decidedly less sound-effect intensive as their inky brethren.
That leaves it up to you, dear Reader, to add the sound effects for yourself. With that in mind, I’ve decided to give you a list of helpful sounds you can use when you are reading my new novel, Minion. In most cases, I have indicated a page number, though many of these sounds can be employed on multiple occasions, and, of course, you are always welcome to create sound effects of your own.
§ Keeey-runch: Use this sound whenever someone gets punched. Page 151 would be good (not page 143—that’s a different sound, more like keeeyrsplatch). You can also use it when someone eats a taco.
§ Schlrurp: The sound of a breadstick being removed from a tub of congealed cheese. See page 48.
§ Kaboomaboomaboom: The sound of lots of things blowing up at once. Page 217.
§ Frazwoooooom-whoof-thunk: The sound of a Comet plummeting out of the sky landing in the middle of some nefarious enemy dealings. Page 60, for starters.
§ Uhhh: The sound that a teenage boy makes whenever he is forced to talk to a teenage girl that he kind of likes. Multiple pages.
§ ???: The sound a silent alarm. Page 6.
§ Hrrrrmmmmmmmmmmmm: The sound of a son trying to convince his father to pee his pants. Trust me. That’s what it sounds like. Page 80.
§ Skreeeerch!: The burning rubber of an SUV trying to make a quick getaway (page 156). Without the exclamation point it is the sound of the basement door slowly being opened.
§ Flpppt: The sound of a brochure advertising the merits of a life in Toledo hitting the kitchen floor. Also the sound of a father’s heart about to break. Page 188.
In addition to the above, feel free to use the standard kerpow, zap, clunk, boom, wham, zonk, toka toka, crash, whiff, and boom whenever the action calls for it (just about every other chapter, and lots at the end). The key to a proper dramatic insertion of onomatopoeia is to be vocal about it—it won’t have quite the effect if you don’t say it out loud. A proper reading of Minion should include at least a few moments where you sound like you yourself are about to explode.
And if anyone in the book splits their pants, you know what to say.
John David Anderson is the author of Minion, Sidekicked, and Standard Hero Behavior. He never successfully convinced his father to pee his pants.
Want more on John David Anderson and his books, then check out my review of Sidekicked and my interview with him from last year, as well, as the next stop in the tour at Candace's Book Blog.
Minion (Sidekicked, 2) by John David Anderson, June 24, 2014. Published by Walden Pond Press.
John David Anderson returns to the world of superheroes he created in Sidekicked with an entirely new cast of characters in Minion, a funny and emotional companion to his first breakout tween novel—perfect for superhero fans who also love the work of bestselling authors Rick Riordan, Louis Sachar, and Frank Cottrell Boyce.
Michael Morn might be a villain, but he's really not a bad guy. When you live in New Liberty, known across the country as the City without a Super, there are only two kinds of people, after all: those who turn to crime and those who suffer. Michael and his adoptive father spend their days building boxes—special devices with mysterious abilities—which they sell to the mob at a price. They provide for each other, they look out for each other, and they'd never betray each other.
But then a Super comes to town, and Michael's world is thrown into disarray. The Comet could destroy everything Michael and his dad have built, the safe and secure life they've made for themselves. And now Michael and his father face a choice: to hold tight to their life or to let it unravel.