A lot of voice actors tend to turn towards becoming audiobook narrators, as they find the work much more rewarding regardless of the level of expertise required, Who says you can’t learn? So how do you get started? Better yet, what skills do you need to be an audiobook narrator?
Keep on reading to find out some of the traits needed to become one.
What does it take to narrate well? How to become an audiobook narrator? Here are 3 things you need to do for a successful voyage:
1. Knowing All
As a narrator, you need to know how the story ends before you even step up to the mic. Being informed is key to building your confidence as a performer.
A good narrator is in full control. He or she knows the terrain, anticipates the ups and downs of a journey and serves as a constant, like the reader’s North star.
The narrator does not purposefully mislead his or her listeners. You are tasked with ferrying the audience from one end of the story to the other. The words you say are deliberate and measured. You should never be surprised by the text or anything that a character does. After all, you know everything!
2. Being Objective
While one of your main responsibilities is to communicate the author’s intent, you also need to keep yourself at a bit of a distance from the reader.
Narrators often tell stories from the sidelines. They have a full view of what is going on and because of their vantage point, can let an audience in on privileged information many of the characters do not have.
Your perspective is free from emotion- you’re telling it like it is. Like a good journalist does, the narrator does not take sides or reveal bias. You’re presenting the facts (or the story) as the author intended it to be received.
As objective storytellers, narrators achieve the ultimate balancing act.
3. Painting the Picture
People enjoy listening to audiobooks because they love being told a story. A professional narrator is an expert at doing this. Great narrators breathe life into a text while infusing each word and punctuation mark with color and meaning.
Drawing the listener into a story using only your voice is an art. However, being able to jump from the voice of the narrator to other distinct characters is also an art. By being adept at both you have the power to endear a listener to a character or make them cringe at the mere sound of their voice.
Separating character voices and giving them unique attributes as dictated by the text is an adventure in itself. The more characters there are, the greater your opportunity for vocal experiment within boundaries set by the author.
However, always keep in mind that while there is room to improvise with the workings of your instrument, a balance must be struck with the words to maintain integrity. You’ve made an agreement with the author, and also the audience, that your part is to be played with authenticity and a connected autonomy.
There is more to audiobook narration than meets the eye. There’s a lot of background preparation that needs to go into the production before you can even begin to think of actually stepping into the studio. Basically, know what you’re doing, and if you don’t start researching, otherwise you’ll find yourself clueless and out of money. Do you want to create your own author-narrated audiobook? Let us know!