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Friday, May 17, 2013

What's the sound a person's feet make walking on sand?

May 17, 2013: One of the greatest challenges I find in writing compelling stories is engaging all human senses through the mere written word.  I make it a habit to describe places and settings with appeals to as many human senses as possible.  The wind rustled through the leaves, the sun danced on the water, the water chilled her feet, the air had the burnt taste of electricity in it, are all metaphors used to describe the scene and give the reader a deeper sense of place, intrigue, or drama.

I struggle sometimes to find the right words to capture the image I'm trying to paint.  For example, I was stumped recently by the sound feet make on sand.  What is it?  I can hear it in my head, but I'll be darned if I know the word that gives one the sense of feet squeaking across a beach. 

Do you have similar challenges?  How do you come up with the right word or words that best capture the emotion and feel for a scene? 

What is the sound a person's feet make walking on sand?

Sean Smith is an award winning conservationist and author. He is a former National Park Ranger at Yellowstone, Glacier, and the North Cascades. He is a TEDx speaker, and private pilot. He graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a degree in Political Science. He got his master's in Natural Resources Management from Central Washington University in 1996. He currently runs Washington State's efforts to reduce and eliminate toxic chemicals from consumer products and serves as the Mayor Pro Tem of Covington.

He has been writing stories and books since he was a child and currently writes national park thrillers from the shadow of Mount Rainier.

All his novels can be found here: Mr. Sean D Smith


  1. You often DON'T need to describe it. Instead you write in a way that allows the reader to fill in for himself

    They wet-footstepped back towards the house

  2. It's these subtle sounds that stump us. But when you get it right, it's terrific.

  3. Might be a little late, but it's the crunch of someone's footsteps on the sand...

  4. I would use crunch however I understand exactly where your coming from