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  • Writer's pictureTom Dheere

5 Tips To Make Your Audio Book Characters Stand Out – The GKN Weekly Update 8/12/14

Hello and Happy National Left Handers Day! Southpaws unite!!! I’m a lefty, are you?


  1. Last week I sent out my newsletter. If you missed it, you can read and subscribe to it it here!

  2. My next Edge Studio Business and Money 201 webinar is this Thursday, August 14th @ 8PM EST. The topic: Rates, Negotiating, and Invoicing. I’ll teach you how much to charge and how to get paid. Click here to sign up!

  3. Remember “June is Audio Book Month”? Well, here’s a late summer triple bonus giveaway. The first three people who comment on this blog post will receive not one, not two, but THREE free audiobooks! You heard, uh, read me right! They are the first three books of best-selling romance author Judith Arnold’s “The Daddy School” series:

I’ve narrated a lot of audio books this year. Well, a lot for me, anyway. So far it’s been nine short stories, four full-length novels, and another novel I’ll do this week. (27, Johnny Heller? Really? Showoff.)

I’m still prepping the novel I start this week (Winning Mars) but so far there are over 50 characters in it. Male, female, young, old, white, black, Indian, Russian, and who-knows what else. It’s a challenge, but one I always look forward to. The tough part is distinguishing all the guys & girls in their 20’s and 30’s, especially when they’re in the same room (there are MANY scenes like that).

TIP OF THE WEEK: How do you develop distinct characters AND keep track of them all?

Do Your Homework: read the entire book before you start recording and take notes. There are lots of clues to be found there! (she’s a smoker, he was bullied as a child, etc.)

Contact the Author: the author can be an invaluable source of information. Sometimes they’re happy to help, sometimes not so much, but it can’t hurt to reach out!

Visualize: I write a list of every character, their role (profession or relationship to major characters) and any physical description the book provides. That helps to conjure an image of the character in my head.

High, Low, Fast, Slow: I’m talking about pitch and pace. The more you can put the characters into one of these categories, the more variety you can bring. Also, notice which characters are paired up most of the time. The more of a contrast you can make between them, the easier it is for both you and the listener to know who is speaking.

Accents: I love doing accents, sometimes a bit too much! If a character doesn’t have much in the way of a description, throwing a light accent in may do the trick to keep them distinct. Often you can pair an accent to an attitude. A tough guy could sound like he’s from Brooklyn or Chicago. A rich executive could have a touch of British.


STUFF!: I saw “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” and “Wreck-It Ralph” last week. Both are great popcorn flicks!

From Tom Dheere’s apartment, this is Tom Dheere: GKN News…


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