Audiobooks – Do you read your manuscript out loud?

I really thought I wanted to be an actor, but when I couldn’t stand the sound of my voice or tolerate my image on screen I dropped the dream and did what a lot of creative types do:   worked for a large company in sales and hated it. When I discovered writing as an outlet I knew that the creative artist within was smiling. I mean, I could actually reread my own work without wanting to damage walls. That’s a pretty clear indication that this was the way for me. So when I started reading my manuscript out loud, I found it helped with the flow of my book, it helped with editing, and it helped reaffirm my decision to leave acting as a career choice. I’m glad I did it though. The male character walking over confidentially instead of confidently was certainly an error, unless he meant to keep this to himself. Overall though, the tone certainly didn’t sound how it did in my head. When my characters have my voice, they sound boring and irritating rather than witty and engaging.

It made me think. Am I boring and irritating?  Well, it actually made me think, how will my manuscript translate to readers. And further, how will this translate as an audiobook? I love this one series, the character is hilarious. The humor is left field and less obvious. In my head we do great things together – with my dry wit and and her sass we are formidable.  How on earth can any narrator do us justice? Yes, us. We are a team. So I listened to a sample and I was so excited when it did nothing for me. I thought, maybe I’m not doomed? Loads of people love audiobooks and this narrator is well-loved by our community, so maybe I just don’t get it. But they get it. How will I know when they get what I don’t get with my own work?  I have to cover my bases, even those I don’t understand. We all have 4532 bases, right? It’s dark and scary as hell out there by the time I’m done covering them all.

ebooks and I rarely come into contact. I don’t get up in the morning for anything less than three dimensions.   And if I find it difficult to embrace alternative dimensions or dream dimensions within my beloved books, you can imagine how well the auditory dimension is going to fare.

So, whats’ your take on audiobooks?

Have you ever read your manuscript out loud to see how it sounds?  Did you it make you so crazy you ran around wearing black shoes with a brown belt?



19 thoughts on “Audiobooks – Do you read your manuscript out loud?

  1. I asked my computer to read my words back at me. Despite the voice, it gave me an idea if the sentences sounded right. I’ll read it out aloud myself one day. It’ll feel wierd! 🙂

  2. By day, I am a developer, so using the technology of which Christie speaks, I rip my book down to mp3’s by chapter. I’m on Win8, so I have three voices – a male and two females. Christie is also right about the voice; the inflection and sometimes the pronunciation is off, but it’s far better than my voice (thumbs up)

  3. Manuscripts should always be read aloud!

    I do enjoy listening to audiobooks, good on a jog and waiting in line at airports… but I don’t thing anyone would want to listen to my voice. Hire professionals.

  4. I’m not to manuscript stage yet, but I do present recordings of my poetry. By hearing it, I often know if something is ‘off’, or if I struggle with the reading while recording.

    I can’t listen to audiobooks for some reason. I’ve nearly driven off the road, and I can’t accomplish anything if it plays on the stereo. I find myself standing stock still, listening. I guess I am too much of an immersion reader 🙂 Good questions though!

    • with poetry it would be more about the rhythm than even a novel. I can imagine it would be imperative. I’ve never been able to write poetry but I do appreciate the flow and pace that is such a big part of writing. Gl getting to your manuscript. I had to put mine back a month. *big sad face*

      • Thanks! A month, it’s just a little time. Most of my works are probably a year or more out (lots of research behind one of them), and I work full-time. Best wishes to you 🙂

  5. I read my drafts out loud to try to pick up on weird wording and where the flow is disrupted. I’m also able to pick up on a lot of typos and some grammar issues when I read out loud. It’s funny really, that speaking the words makes such a big difference compared to just reading in silence.

    • It is weird isn’t it. And then printing it out and reading it out again this way adds a whole new dimension as well! I used to just read off the screen but not anymore!

  6. I read my manuscript, chapter by chapter, to my writing groups. It always sounds different and I find mistakes more easily when I do this. Plus, of course, the group is going to critique. Reading aloud really does help you see the mistakes and phrasings that just dont’ work. Or do!

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