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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Listening To My Own Books

Just like I reread my books to visit with my characters, I also listen to my stories on audio (Through a Crimson Veil and Shards of Crimson) for the same reason.

When I write, I hear a lot more often than I actually see anything. It's always been like this and maybe this is why it's so hard for me to listen to my books. Nothing against the narrator, but when they read, they don't have the same cadence/rhythm/intonation as my characters do when they talk.

It throws me off every time.

I can hear them so clearly in my head--definitely while I'm writing them, but also when I reread even years later. I know exactly which word they'll stress in a sentence, I know the tone of voice, if it's sarcastic (mild or strong), if they're laughing while they talk, if there's a lilt in her voice, an edge in his. I often leave it up to the reader to decide intonation because I know how frustrating it is for me to have the author's vision intrude over my own when I'm reading her book, but I never considered what that meant for a voice talent. How do they figure out what the author is going for when the context isn't spelled out?

Then there's another problem--Mika doesn't pronounce her name the way it's supposed to be said. Standard pronunciation is Mee-kah. My heroine says her name Mike-ah. It's hugely jarring.

The other thing that's jarring is how the reader pronounces the made-up words, like the demon branches. With some of them, she was spot on, with others, I'd be thinking, no, not like that, it's ____ (fill in the blank). I suppose I should have put together a glossary for my website, but I never have. At least not with a pronunciation guide. (I do have a small glossary for my Light Warrior series. Some day, when I have time, I'll have to add how to say it, not just what it is.)

Overall, though, I think it's fun to hear my stories on audio. I wish all of them were available like that. With time so tight for me, it would be awesome to revisit my heroes and heroines this way since I can listen at work.