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0700 – Post-Dialogue Attributions In Audiobook Narration

Season 2, Ep. 700

2022.12.01 – 0700 – Post-Dialogue Attributions In Audiobook Narration

Mark any ‘post-dialogue attributions’, where the name of the person who just spoke is written after their statement, (“Merlin said”, “Trayvon interjected”, “Marsha replied”, “Neville whispered”, “she said with a tremor in her voice”), so you know which voice to use for the preceding comment, and how to read it. You may also need to be aware that on occasion there may be a discrepancy between what someone says and how they say it: “I’m completely overwhelmed”, followed by “she said sarcastically”, so you know to say that in a sarcastic way (in this instance), before you get to the direction.

Think of what the character is doing when they are speaking in the text:

“Robin pulled the bow back as far as he could, struggling as the string cut into his inexperienced fingers. “He has to die” he muttered under his breath, and then with more resolve as the arrow flew from the bow “Die! DIE!”.

So, you have to show that the character is experiencing several emotions (exhaustion, focus and then fury), all in a couple of lines.

Your in-character breathing will also add to the visual for the listener: a sharp intake of breath in surprise or shock, an exhale of relief, in an action scene when someone is out of breath or tired, sounds natural. As a narrator, some editors may remove or reduce the volume of many of yours, especially those at the start of paragraphs, so they don’t distract the listener.

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0756 – Your Vocal Battery

Season 3, Ep. 756
2023.01.26 – 0756 – Your Vocal Battery   PROFESSIONAL VOCAL STRAINIt is of course better to ‘defend not mend’ – and prevention is easier than a remedy. So, look after your folds and everything else that helps your body create a great sound. Be aware of how much you are using your voice during the day, and how much rest you are giving it.  The ‘Vocal Battery’Think of your voice-use as a battery: you start the day with it fully-charged but during the course of the day with the amount and kind of use, the battery starts to drain. What will discharge the battery the most:·        The amount you use it - how long you speak for·        The type of speaking that you do – close-mic work will have less strain than excitable live sports commentary outside in winter·        Your vocal quality - using a voice different from your usual one, for example, putting on a character voice for a book narration or video game character, or even lots of whispering, can increase laryngeal stress·        The intensity of your pitch - using a higher or lower pitch than normal will also increase laryngeal stress·        How loud you are – we tend to speak louder when background noise is loud, and this increases stress on the vocal folds, so reduce your time speaking at a loud party, gig or sports event·        How fast you speak – the folds move faster So, for a voice professional, try to plan your day of voice-use if you can: ease it in with slower scripts in your normal range at the start of the day, and more demanding ones towards the end. That way around and your voice will be prepped for the strenuous work. The reverse way and it could be tired and scratchy for the ‘straight reads’.  Funny, isn’t it? It’s almost socially acceptable to have a hoarse voice after a loud, late night, but if you woke up the next day and your vision was blurry, we might take that a bit more seriously.