Thursday, April 14, 2016

Audio Books

CDs *

I recently borrowed two items from the library, Poldark by Winston Graham and the audio book of the same title, on CDs. I enjoyed following along, though I will admit to sometimes feeling impatient with the narrator’s pace. I skipped ahead through portions of the 12 discs (!) a few times to get through the book sooner. 

Why listen and read? One, I enjoy audio books at times. And since I’d seen this series on PBS and enjoyed the saga, I thought it’d be fun to see its origins. Also, the actor reading the novel had a British accent. You can’t go wrong with a British accent. Am I right? 

I’ve checked out audio books before—some of them being Jim Rubart’s books. He had the privilege of reading them himself for the audio versions. I enjoyed hearing him read them in the voices he imagined for each speaker’s dialogue.  

As a writer, I read my stories aloud often. Doing so will show writers whether their speakers have distinctive dialogue traits. But I also find mistakes as I read aloud—typos or portions I could beef up. If I were to do the voice-over work on my own titles, I imagine, I might be tempted as I’m reading to rework the prose as I think of changes that may have made the story stronger. (If left to ourselves, our manuscripts would never be finished. We writers like to rework and rework and rework…) 

How about you? Do you enjoy audio books? Where do you listen to them? For Jim’s books, I listened to them on car trips. For Poldark, I was tethered to a CD player with the novel in hand. In this way, it became a study of both voice-over technique, but also unusual words. (Read it, you’ll see what I mean.) 

Whether you read your books or listen to them or both, read on, friends!

Photo credit: White Blank CD Or DVD Stock Photo by Nutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot at

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