If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our February author interviews: 2/7-debut author Keenan Powell (Alaskan lawyer), 2/14-Leslie Wheeler (Rattlesnake Hill), 2/21-bestselling author Krista Davis, who unveils a new series, 2/28-Diane Vallere answers my questions about Pajama Frame. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our February Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 2/3-Saralyn Richard, 2/10-Kathryn Lane. WWK's Margaret H. Hamilton will blog on 2/17, and Kait Carson on 2/24.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Auditory Learning

I’m an auditory learner, but I didn’t know that until I started writing fiction. Auditory learners comprise about 30% of the population. I had noticed that I related to the world a bit differently than most people. I knew that I—

·         remembered lyrics and music with ease
·         recognized voices better than faces. If I heard your voice, then I could recall you and knew instantly who I talked with on the phone
·         memorized phone numbers easily (867-5309 a number that also doubled as lyrics. Can you name that tune/band?)
·         spelled horribly because I spell phonetically, contradicting my mother’s edict that readers are good spellers (Which explains why I’ve been confused for years. She obviously was a visual learner.)
·         had a good vocabulary, but I couldn’t find the words in the dictionary (i.e., dearth)
·         always loved story circle during kindergarten
·         had no trouble learning foreign languages
·         forgave bad spellers, but if you sang off-key, I’d bite
·         had no understanding why microwaves or dryers need a bell signaling the cycle’s end when everyone can hear the motor shut off, a great annoyance
·         don’t have problems reading and answering questions about a passage, which contradicts what the auditory learning experts say I shouldn’t be able to do well. I’ve concluded that not all auditory learners are alike.

What does this mean for my writing?

The Good: I have no problem writing dialogue. In fact, when I write dialogue it is more as if I’m taking dictation than trying to create it. I can also hear the nuances in my characters’ voices, in their tone, sarcasm, cadence and emotions. Just like real people, once I hear their voice, I don’t forget them.

The Bad: I sometimes forget that my characters wear clothing, have facial features and hair color. I’m not an appearance person in real life so those things don’t have a lot of significance to me. Clothing doesn’t make the man. In fact, if you dress too well, I may discount you for it, and that wariness applies to women also. Unlike appearance, I’m physically oriented so my characters have motion and muscle. They think, speak and act, but I work on including my characters’ visual aspects because those characteristics interest me the least.

The Ugly: Spelling phonetically is problematic. Consider the word “definitely.” If you pronounce the word—def’ in-ite-ly—no problem. But often it is pronounced—def’-in-ate-ly or in the South—def’-un-unte-ly. I now memorize, not the spelling of words because it won’t stick that way, but I memorize the correct pronunciation of the word so that I can then spell it correctly. How’s that for convoluted? (I just spelled convoluted wrong because I pronounced it con-vel-uted.)

When I’m taking dictation from my head, I write what I am hearing, and that means if I don’t go over my manuscript carefully, my critique group members may read these sentences:

“Jenny whent to the freezer isle and selected a box of popcicles. The popcicle company’s advertizing-cartoon mascot, a polar bare whereing a grass skirt, adorned the boxes of frozen treets.”

Those sentences sound fine to me! Auditory learners don’t care much about homonyms or spelling because we are hearing the words, not seeing them. Of course, to communicate in the written word, I have a lot to rewrite. Writers who are auditory learners are storytellers in the literal sense of the word. Other writers may think we aren’t erudite, but what they don’t understand is that having an acute sense of hearing and relating to the world through sounds has its advantages too.

What has your writing taught you about yourself?


Pauline Alldred said...

As an RN, I learned that people have different learning needs. We used to try for at least three by face to face conversation, handing out something written and offering a video with auditory comments.

In college, especially many of the mandatory 101 courses, auditory learning was the norm when I was in college. We sat in large auditoriums and listened to a lecturer with a mike.

I like listening to stories while I drive but they can be distracting.

Betsy Bitner said...

Thanks for the explanation of what an auditory learner is - I've never seen it spelled out before, phonetically or otherwise. I guess I'm a visual learner.
What has writing taught me about myself? Hmmm. Probably that I'm an excellent procrastinator, but I'll get around to thinking about that some other time.

E. B. Davis said...

I had never heard (haha) of auditory learners. The phrase "memorize by sight," I'd heard. But I though I just wasn't gifted in visually learning. Over the years, people would say to me, you really know lyrics, and I thought they just didn't pay attention to them. I mean, like who can't memorize lyrics. But then correlating it to "memorize by sight" and I realized that what I couldn't memorize by sight, I could memorize what I heard easily.

LOL! Betsy--I used to procrastinate, but I learned that lesson. If it isn't a problem though--just don't define it as such!

Lynn M said...

This is why Jan Brogan said I write like a screenplay ... I have great dialogue and no so much of anything else! Oh well -- we all need o learn! Maybe I should bag the novel and go do screenplays! Find your strengths ... right?

E. B. Davis said...

There's nothing wrong with writing screen plays (Screenwriter-Sally J. Walker-interviewed here on WWK this month)but if you know your weaknesses, then at least you can compensate. I felt obtuse when I realized that I've gone through most of my life not understand how I learned. Now I know-I can do something with it and enhance the process! Good luck!

Warren Bull said...

I had a terrible time with the College English test that provided a list of possible spellings of individual words. They all looked fine as a sounded them out in my head. My Spanish teacher was "impressed" that I would misspell words in Spanish which is much more phonetic than English. My wife says I would write her letters and spell the same word different ways.

E. B. Davis said...

But Warren, consider the word "bear." You can practically throw any two vowels at it and it will still sound like bear. Like I said, spelling doesn't bother me. I was tickled when KB said that spelling wasn't standard in the olden days and it wasn't considered horrible if people didn't spell the words the same way. It just had to be understandable. How civilized!