Ahhhh…you gotta love the English language, whoops, sorry I mean “got to”. I never realized how many words I read to myself on a daily basis between the internet, social media, and books, that I don’t actually speak out loud. How many times do you look at your husband and say something like, “Honey, I particularly love the fact that you have such a wonderful timbre to your tone. Similarly, I find that your voice reminds me of….” See what I mean?
Try reading your favorite book, blog or post out loud. Weird huh? I mean, I recognize the words, I know what the words mean, but if you have never spoken the words out loud, do yourself a favor…look up the pronunciations! Whether it is dictionary.com (which is really cool because they pronounce it for you to hear), or the good old fashioned dictionary, just do it.
For example, say “similarly” out loud. Or “effortlessly”. Or….well you get my drift. Not as easy as you might think, but yet those two words are predominant in novels, particularly romance novels. (By the way, particularly is another one). Sometimes authors get a little carried away with fancy words and descriptions, but hey, that is their prerogative, I am not a writer so who am I to judge? But, I am a narrator, and honestly, sometimes I have to say a sentence multiple times to get a pronunciation correct.
I had an author actually remove the word similarly from her non fiction book because I could JUST NOT get it right. And they say narrators have no sway…ha ha.
Nowadays, we also have emojis and terms like LOL and SMH that we have to try to get across to listeners. And don’t get me started on different dialects and accents. Being a narrators of audiobooks is so interesting and fun to me, but it certainly isn’t as simple as picking up a book and starting to read. Imagine being an actor, and you are asked to play every single scene in a movie. I can only think of a couple of actors that can pull that off. (Robin Williams comes to mind).
If you are just starting out on this journey, good luck and much patience! For all you “seasoned” narrators, I envy your ability to successfully make it in this business. You are all truly special folks! I myself, am somewhere in between, but will continue to plug away.
And someday, maybe I will be able to say “similarly” correctly.
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Here is a sneak peak at one of my projects: Non-Fiction Formula: Journey into Past and Future Lives, written by Shelley Kaehr, PHD and narrated by yours truly! Available now on Audible.com