Writing Wednesday: Author’s Voices vs. Narrators

Last Week’s Goals

Blog posts out on schedule. A submission returned from market and was sent out again. A contest I entered was canceled due to lack of interest (and the accompanying fees.)

There are now nine days until my next scheduled release day (May 13th) and I still haven’t decided what it will be. This is not looking promising…

I wrote on five days last week, and made my daily quota on three of them. I missed my weekly word quota with only 2,387 words, all on Swordsmaster #2 (now at 110,720 words.)

What Do We Hear?

There are a couple of my 2020 goals that I haven’t addressed recently.

One goal has to do with producing my own audiobooks. I have the needed equipment and software, and did a little practicing to acquaint myself with the process, but I felt that my voice needs a tune-up before I make a serious attempt.

Not every author should try this – I’ve heard brilliant authors who can’t read worth a darn, but there are some who can at least do their own writing justice, and I’m hoping I’m one of those. I’d like to think my years in the theatre would contribute to that ability, although that was more years ago than many reputed adults have been alive. I am admittedly rusty, and I could hear it in my practice samples (my voice has never sounded right to me when I listen to recordings, but this wrongness was more than that.)  

I decided that my best way to tune-up is to spend some time singing, so I’m occupying some of my time with my karaoke machine, and once I’ve knocked the rust off my pipes (yes, I’m even rusty at that) I should be ready to try recording seriously..

The other goal was to read six speculative fiction novels that I haven’t read before. I had been listening to Jordan’s The Wheel of Time (for the third time, so it doesn’t count) while working on Swordsmaster #2 (because the tone is similar to what I’m trying to do, so I’m not worried about cross-contamination of voice), but I finished the fourteen books (again), and decided it was time to actually READ something instead of listening to someone else do it. I picked Christopher Paolini’s Eregon – partly by accident (I came across a pristine hardcover at our local resale shop), and because I’d thought of reading years ago. I’ve only just started, and it hasn’t gripped me enough yet to inspire me to use some of my chair time to read instead of write, so it will be slow going, but I will get through it.

Meanwhile, I still find myself with time alone on the road or doing chores where I can’t read, but I can listen, so I’m revisiting Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles (since I’ve let my Audible subscription lapse and already own them, and they are also a safe tone to listen to while I plod along with my Swordsmaster #2 revisions.) I happened to check online to see whether there is any news about when the third and final book will finally be released, and it looks like it will be this June (unless that was another pair of false reports.)  I’m so excited – I will at last find out what happened (and is going to happen) to Kvothe.

Then I found myself in a quandary. I’ve listened to the first two books read by Nick Podehl (I have the same voice identification with Michael Kramer’s and Kate Reading’s performance of The Wheel of Time), and I strongly associate his voice with both the books and with Kvothe himself. It’s unlikely that the June release will include the audiobook, so if I want the experience to continue, I’m going to have to wait.

I often wonder how much the narrator’s interpretation alters the author’s voice, and whether I’m listening to a distortion of that voice, or a unique work in and of itself. I think it’s both. The narrator (even if the narrator IS the author) cannot possibly vocalize the story the same way that the author heard it in their mind – every medium is a new and different translation.  

At some point I will pick up visual samples of each of these series to see how much difference in voice I discover (it may be difficult to unhear what I’ve already heard), but for now I am content in strive to produce something as enjoyable as these narrations, both in what I put on the page and in audio.

Just saying…

Current Book Promotions

In a Flash Detective Jimmy Delaney eBook CoverPurrMission-MainTall_025For information on my current promotions (including the FREE Presale and reduced price preorders for Cats of War III, my participating books in the 14th Annual Smashwords Summer/Winter Sale, as well as FREE starter eBooks for my Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series and my Detective Jimmy Delaney series), look HERE on my CURRENT BOOK PROMOTIONS page.

Reaching Out

William Mangieri’s writing has been published on Daily Science Fiction and The Arcanist. His ninety or so short stories and related collections can be found at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Want to help me make a go of this writing gig WITHOUT IT COSTING YOU A PENNY? I’m in the Amazon Affiliates program, so any time you click one of the links I provide here to my books on Amazon, and then make a purchase of something like, say, a TV, I get a small percentage of Amazon’s profit. So PLEASE consider using one of my links to get to Amazon before you make that next purchase. Thanx!


or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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