On Growling

Everyone has their own pet peeve when it comes to books.  Mine is growling.

I get why writers use it. It’s a handy short cut for: This guy is an alpha-male. Look at him putting everyone in their place. He can’t be bothered with the petty waffle everyone else cares about.

The problem is that I haven’t actually heard anyone growl in real life. I know I’m being a pedant, but it always throws me straight out the story.

I recently read an otherwise decent book that was marred by one of the characters growling all the time, especially during the sex scenes. This was when the female character imagined him as a muscley black panther slinking through the jungle (as you do apparently) and then when they were at it, he’d ‘growl like a panther’.

Firstly, panthers are better known for their screaming than their growling (which is even worse), but this is what a panther growl actually sounds like:

Dunno ’bout you, but if a woman actually heard her partner making that noise during sex, she’d either burst out laughing or run away. Probably both at the same time.


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