A good narrator and narrator voice can make the listeners lose themselves in a storyline as they can conjure a mood, build a sense of place, elicit laughter, and bring the whole thing to life through the power of their voice and acting talents. The narrative voice is the point of view from which the story is told.
The writer deliberately selects a narrative voice because it significantly impacts the story and the listener’s reaction. There are different types of narrator voices, and each voice is used depending on the story’s requirement and the narrator’s preference. Let’s have a look at the different narration voices.
- First-person: The story is being told by a character from inside of the story. I, my, me, and we are amongst the most used personal pronouns.
- Second person: Narrators do not regularly use this voice. Throughout the book, you and your are used as personal pronouns.
- Third-person: The story is told from the perspective of someone who is not a character in the story. She, he, and they are the most common personal pronouns used.
- Third-person omniscient: The novel is narrated by a voice that appears to know more than the story’s protagonists–the narrator is all-knowing.
Tips for Good Narration
When opting for narration, there are a few tips that are to be kept in mind. This article will discuss the essentials of a good narration.
- Enjoy What you are Doing
To make the task more enjoyable for you and the listeners, build the setting, imagine how the characters would appear, and add your inflexions to their speech. Reading a story can be termed an act of self-hypnosis, as demonstrated by the fact that the term “lost in a good book” exists at all.
A good audiobook will occupy the listener, causing them to lose track of time and what’s going on around them. This is what separates the best amongst the narrators. Their daily life is replaced by the flickering theatre of the listener’s imagination as the tale takes them to another world.
This is why the narrators need to enjoy the story they are telling. If the narrator is having trouble enjoying the novel, it will be difficult for the reader to do so.
Great narrators can captivate an audience by taking them on an epic experience through the story’s highs and lows. No listener would prefer a story with a fight scene described unenthusiastically or a romantic setting told without passion; the narrator’s zeal is a part of what makes it spring to life.
- Great Articulation
Articulation plays a vital role in narration as a narrator who under-articulates their words may come across as lazy and unknowledgeable. Similarly, when the narrator over-articulates, the story may come off as far-fetched, stilted, and unnatural.
A professional narrator should know how to strike a balance between these two extremes and adapt their style as needed to suit the story’s needs. A tip to excel this balance is that the narrator should spend some time getting to know the book and its ins and outs before recording it. It is necessary to understand the characters, the scenarios, and how they should be performed.
- Be Smart with Accents
Although everyone has their dialect, skilled narrators can remove it from the narrative and offer a more neutral diction. When required, narrators may also use a convincing accent.
Though no listener expects every character to have a perfectly accurate accent, the reader is more likely to buy the story when a character sounds genuine. Likewise, it is also important that the narrator knows where to drop the accent. Doing this shall prevent it from becoming distracting.
- Pace Intuitively
A vital skill to learn for narration is, pausing for an extra second so the words sink in and pace up the dialogues amidst an action scene. These small breaths and pauses give the characters, and the scenario narrated a somewhat more special feeling and spice up the scene definition.
A narrator’s natural pacing skill will aid in immersing the listener in the story while also bringing the characters to life. It is essential to mention here that over-doing this is something that all professional narrators will prefer to avoid.
- Learn to Differentiate the Characters
Except for the simple enjoyment of having someone else read to you, one of the reasons audiobooks have become so popular is that they help you visualize the characters better. A skilled narrator will make sure that each character’s voice sounds distinct enough from the other that the listener feels as if they are standing right there in the scene with them.
When an inexperienced narrator voices, all of their characters sound the same, making it almost difficult to tell them apart. Again, the level of comprehension needed for this is only possible if you know the story inside and out.
- Consistency is the Key
It can take several days to narrate an audiobook from beginning to end. Since narrating can be time-consuming, one of the job stresses is that listeners can tell whether the narrator’s tone is exhausted or the concentration is waning. The narrator always has to be consistent from start to finish. Hence the aim here is to make the last page sound like the first page.
Looking After Your Voice
Alongside narration, looking after your voice is also essential. Someone cannot be an excellent narrator if they’re careless with their voice. So here are some tips that you can follow to look after your voice are listed below;
- Commence your day with a warm cup of tea. Some options to consider are honey with chamomile, peppermint or a squeeze of vitamin-rich lemon.
- Make sure you warm up your vocal muscles before you start recording. Doing this will help improve your clarity and pitch range.
- Besides keeping the throat moist, a few sips of water or a soothing liquid is beneficial in preventing voice breaks and mouth noises.
- Make sure to avoid whispering and clearing the throat; these habits are detrimental to the narrator’s voice health. The vibrations caused due to them weaken and tire out the vocal muscles making the narrator’s voice hoarse in the long run.