We have been lucky to have some tips on making audio stories from some experts who have given us lots of handy hints.
We’d like to sum up some of their advice for you…
Writing for audio:
Roy McMillan, audiobook producer, reminded us of the saying ‘less is more’. It’s better to have just a couple of moments of action and to describe them really well. Remember that you’re creating a whole new world for your listener.
David Smith, another producer, agrees. He advises trying to tell your story in as few words as possible. Read your work back and ask yourself, ‘do I really need this bit?’
A good recording spot:
Matt Hill, a podcast producer, helped us to find a good spot for our recording. Try to find a space without background noise, that’s free from echoes. Lots of hard surfaces equal an echoey room. Why not make a recording den with blankets, duvets, cushions or even cardboard boxes? Sitting in front of something like a bookcase will also help.
Recording your work:
Christopher Ragland, professional actor, tells us to remember that when you’re recording you are right in the listener’s ear. Talk as if you’re talking to someone who’s next to you.
He also suggests practising using different voices for your characters. They should all sound different.
Roy advises sitting very still and making sure you don’t fidget with your paper as you read. Also, make sure you’ve had a bite to eat so your tummy doesn’t rumble and don’t wear noisy clothes!
Daniel Weyman, actor, reminded us that everyone makes lots of mistakes when they’re reading – even the professionals. Don’t worry; that’s what editing is for! His top tips were to think about your tone of voice and pace (how quickly or slowly you are reading). For example, you might want to slow down for a tense, dramatic moment or speed up for some action. If your story has a jump in time, leave a pause so that the listener can keep up with what’s going on.
Most of all, have fun! It’s a great adventure to use your imagination and tell a story in your own words. We hope you’ll enjoy giving it a go.