I'm writing a comic, and a character is about to ask another character for help, but it's taken her a lot of effort to be able to ask for help. So, before she finally asks she takes a deep breath and inhales before speaking. And I cannot think of what kind of Onomatopoeia you would use for taking a deep breath other than just writing deep breath. And that seems so lame.

Does anyone have any advice on how I could handle this problem?

  • Considerations of your comic book audience aside (and, given the echoic nature of the word, those considerations are not so consequential), you could use 'sough': v. intr. "To make a soft murmuring or rustling sound" (Am. Herit. 2011); "To draw the breath heavily or noisily" (OED Online). If the char. is inhaling through their nose, 'snuff' recommends itself. – JEL Aug 30 '16 at 21:48
  • "Inhaling deeply"? Also, you could draw an extra frame where you show the inward focus of the character as she takes a deep breath and thinks to herself: "Okay now, deep breath... here goes!" And then in the next frame she says the line of dialogue. – aparente001 Aug 31 '16 at 0:58
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    -- Sighhh -- well.. – Nagarajan Shanmuganathan Aug 31 '16 at 4:43

Instead of trying to replicate the actual sound, how about using a simile or metaphor? You could compare the sound to, say, an air break, or compare the tension like the anxious anticipation of a getting a shot at the doctor.

Best of luck with your writing project!

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