Words have sound. Literature is music. We have talked about rhythm but what about melody? You may ask, “What has this got to do with travel writing?” Well, every word has a shape, a length, a flavour and an image attached to it, as well as an abstract form and a sound. We do not attach enough importance to the sounds of words. They serve more then just to create alliterations or other figures of speech that remind us of elementary school. The sounds of words are their very nature. If a word “sounds good” to you, it is because it has harmonic consonance with the rest of the sentence and with yourself. It is very important not to settle for what you already know; try to experiment with new sounds. Imagine a sequence of adjectives that become increasingly stronger (e.g.: it was an intense, acrid, penetrating and unbearable smell) and then imagine reading them aloud while you raise the tone and volume of your voice. Does it “sound good” to you? Then, it will work!

Claudio Visentin and Guido Bosticco

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