How hard can it be?
How hard can it be? That’s what went through my mind when I first decided to record my own audiobooks. I have decades of radio news experience under my belt, involving more live and recorded reports than I can possibly count, along with a boatload of anchoring newscasts. Surely all that experience would hold me in good stead, right? Well, yes and no. When I was doing radio news, I didn’t have to do character voices. And I’m discovering that character voices are the biggest challenge.
For instance, if I’m narrating a scene that involves two young men, I have to differentiate between the two male voices. If I were recording a cartoon narration, that would be easy. But I don’t want my character voices to sound cartoonish. So I must craft distinct, believable character voices so the listener can tell who’s speaking.
You might wonder why I don’t just say “John said” or “Jim said.” Well, sometimes that’s what’s on the written page. But oftentimes, dialog in a novel does not have attribution tags. The reader can tell who’s speaking by the flow of the conversation on the page. Not so for an audiobook.
I’m in the rehearsal stage of recording right now, practicing my character voices, trying to come up with ways to make them distinct without making them ridiculous. For my audiobook debut, I’ve chosen my latest novel, The Time Capsule. With luck, I might be able to publish it by this fall. We’ll have to wait and see. There is always a learning curve when you start something new.
Wish me luck!