• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

The Hack’s Guide to Narrating Audiobooks

https://i1.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/HfH-e1485... 300w, https://i1.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/HfH-e1485... 768w, https://i1.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/HfH-e1485... 525w, https://i1.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/HfH-e1485... 800w, https://i1.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/HfH-e1485... 508w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" data-recalc-dims="1" />
Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.
I do almost all of my reading via audiobook. It’s a great way to turn a boring activity like driving or dinner with the family into a thrilling escape to a fantasy world. The surging popularity of audiobooks, combined with the fact that every artsy dilettante already has a USB microphone from their failed attempt to start a podcast, has made the role of audiobook narrator one of the most coveted jobs in literature.
As long as there are artistic professions, there will always be untrained wannabes who think they can succeed with minimal effort. And where there are wannabes, you can be sure there are irresponsible articles like this one about how to break into the narration racket. Let’s begin!
What You’ll Need

  • A good microphone and recording software. I assume you already have these (see the cheap joke about podcasts from paragraph one of this article).
  • Reading glasses. You may or may not need them, but it’s always fun to buy new equipment!
  • A British accent.

Preparation

  • Listen to lots of audiobooks. You’re probably already doing this, but even so, pay close attention to which narrators make good use of inflection and voice. Also note their pacing, particularly pauses; after a comma, the rule of thumb is to pause long enough to take a breath; after a period, pause long enough to mutter to yourself, “Pfft, I sound better than this hack.”
  • Practice reading out loud. Start with your own work, since you’ve already got the rights to it. Reading your own work is also helpful from a writing perspective—reading a piece out loud helps you catch grammatical errors and plot holes, of which you have an alarming number. The despair you feel after noticing these mistakes will add a note of poignant melancholy to your performance.

https://i2.wp.com/writerunboxed.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/microphon... 400w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" data-recalc-dims="1" />photo by Anthony Storo
Record

  • Act natural. You’re not reading a book, you’re telling a story. You want to sound like you’re having a conversation with the listener, except they can’t talk back (and isn’t that what every writer wants?). But you can’t do that if you sound like you’re reciting words from a piece of paper; you need to internalize the story. Good narrating is acting, so just do what actors do and memorize the entire manuscript ahead of time.
  • Develop distinct voices for each character. These should be mapped to voices you’re already good at. Me, I’ve got like five voices, including the one I like to call “family dog.” Any narrator who happens to have written the column you’re reading now will tell you that five voices is plenty. One trick I deploy during the writing stage is to never write a book that has more than five characters in it, but you can get the same effect by making all your characters generic and forgettable.
  • Edit out the bad parts. Sure, performance is fun, but if you’re starting out as a narrator, you’ll also have to edit your own audio. Editing takes the awkwardness of hearing your own recorded voice and spreads it over many, many hours of tedious work. You’ll become highly attuned to your every vocal tic, as well as all the gross sounds you inadvertently make with your mouth. The nice thing about audio, however, is that you can just delete all the stuff that sounds bad. Why, you can even delete the entire project if you want! Just putting that out there.

What are your narration tips and tricks? Make your voice heard in the comments!

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About Bill FerrisAfter college, Bill Ferris left Nebraska for Florida to become a rich and famous rock star. Failing that, he picked up the pen to become a rich and famous novelist. He now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and looks forward to a life of poverty and ridicule.Web | Twitter | More Posts

"I wrote the rest of The Innocents Abroad in sixty days and I could have added a fortnight's labor with the pen and gotten along without the letters altogether. I was very young in those days, exceedingly young, marvelously young, younger than I am now, younger than I shall ever be again, by hundreds of years. I worked every night from eleven or twelve until broad daylight in the morning, and as I did 200,000 words in the sixty days, the average was more than 3,000 words a day- nothing for Sir Walter Scott, nothing for Louis Stevenson, nothing for plenty of other people, but quite handsome for me. In 1897, when we were living in Tedworth Square, London, and I was writing the book called Following the Equator, my average was 1,800 words a day; here in Florence (1904) my average seems to be 1,400 words per sitting of four or five hours."
Mark Twain

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Fast fact about writing

It has been said that a monkey, randomly typing away on a typewriter (in the days when typewriters replaced the pen or plume as the preferred instrument of writing) could re-create Shakespeare-- but only if it lived long enough (this is known as the infinite monkey theorem).