So, what's the rule with regard to onomatopoeia, specifically animal sounds? Should you use it, outside of children's books? I'm in a bit of a dilemma regarding the sound an owl makes and there seems to be no good solution. On the one hand, simply describing what sound the owl makes doesn't seem to be as visceral as the scene requires. On the other hand, using onomatopoeia ("Whoooooo! Whooooooo!") just looks silly.