One of the interesting facets of having spent many years stubbornly ignoring the blindingly obvious is the multitude of colours when seeing the light.
The particular instance I am referring to is the importance of reading more of the genre I was writing in; the challenge being over the years I have become a fidget so sitting still and reading does not come easy, but a hobby of mine is listening to Audio Books, so MP3 player and earphones are usually stuffed in one pocket or another ready for use.
Combining the two was a happy event. Over the years I had listened to a few Fantasy (and SF) works and I was consistently to tipping my hat to readers for giving the whole experience an added dimension. There is the wonderment of the number of accents or modulations they can bring to bear when highlighting who is who along with their steady pace of the narration and the clarity of annunciation.
This has now become quite a help in my writing, whereas in my usual impatient way of reading I would be flipping through pages, with an audio book I am obliged to listen at the reader’s pace and in consequence pick up on the nuances of the writer. In this way it is possible to learn some of the basics, such as Show not Tell; Awake the Reader’s Curiosity; Develop a Pace, Give the Character Depth, to name but a few. In short not only am I listening to an enjoyable tale but also attending an entertaining type of tutorial.
A good reader therefore in adding another layer of experience of the book also blows away those niggling, corrosive whiffs of jealousy and envy which an unsuccessful writer may be prey to when simply reading, in their own voice. There is little opportunity for that when transported by a skilled reader, the characters are given life and depth which if in a less than generous mood a disgruntled would-be author might not.
I recently completed a listening of an Audible Book version of Red Country by Joe Abercrombie and was enthralled by the reader Steve Pacey. He took what on a page might appear a most obnoxious and whining villain and gave him the depth of a saddened frustrated old man (still a villain though); he took what might have been ungenerously termed as a ‘standard’ vicious heartless priest and turned him into a rather nervous type of bureaucrat and thus a more readable character for someone who expects a lot from the villains apart from scene chewing sadists.
That is just one example from this discovered aid
This is getting to be fun.