Reading, Writing and Reciting

Pretty much everyone knows how to read and print/write their names, but not everyone. There are the visually impaired who may not be able to read your books. How do you get around that? Audiobooks.

Now, while that sounds simple, it may not be. How many of your character and place names are hard to pronounce? How many times have you got going on an alliteration and thought it cute without trying to say it? Even something as simple as “shoulder flashes on a soldier” can be hard to say if you’re reading out loud.

How do you fix it? One way is to read your work out loud to yourself or to others, as in a book reading. And you’d have to practice a few times, too. I read a bit of one chapter in a reading and ended up tripping over my own words. Yes, nervousness was a factor, but not as much of a factor as my ill-chosen words and the words I created.

When you’re printing out what you’re going to say, add pronunciations to the text so you, or another reader, doesn’t fumble over odd spellings and even odder languages. I know newscasters use parentheses to indicate pronunciation, but it’s hard to do that in writing, where you might have a natural parenthesis to add information. I know some writers who have the pronunciation of some words in bold/different colored type. That’s one way. If you don’t have colored ink for your printer, you could use italics or a combination of parentheses and italics/bold type. Regardless of what you use, make it consistent across your script.

Script? I don’t know how to write a script! A script is a fancy way of describing a section of words for someone to say out loud. I’m not talking about a formal audiobook script. Just something you can read without tripping over your tongue. It’s no more difficult to write than a section of text in your book. Hmm… That could be difficult, too, couldn’t it?

So how do you go about recording your voice? I picked up an inexpensive gaming headset and a copy of Audacity, a recording program (free) that allows me to use the gaming headset to record my voice. I’ll admit, I’m not the world’s best reader, but there are readers who like to hear their favorite author speak the “Magic Words.” Even if all you’re doing is reading one or two chapters for advertising purposes, it’s a valuable tool to get to know your way around.

Clear your throat, turn off the radio, have a sip of water and begin. You may find that you enjoy it.

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