I have a podcast/audiobook question, but it's about voice-acting choices, so I know it doesn't go here.

Is there an acting-type Stack?

The question is basically, when reading an audiobook, especially a long one, and one's the only narrator, do they change voices all the time, in real time?

Like for Harry Potter, does it go like

in one long recording session...
Narrator in narration voice: and then Ron said,
Narrator in Ron's Voice: Harry's my best friend!
Narrator back in narration voice: which made Harry very happy.

Or is it more like

Narrator in narration voice: and then Ron said [long pause] which made Harry very happy.
Narrator in Ron's Voice, at a later recording session: Harry's my best friend! [long pause] I hate Draco! [long pause] Snape is mean. [long pause] Quidditch! "

I know it's more editing work to do dialog/characters separately, but is it worth it for character consistency?

Is there a home for this sort of question on SE? Thanks!

  • I think I'm still newish enough not to be certain, but it sounds like a writing question to me. There are two issues here: 1) will the voice actors change voices? 2) should the writer indicate that in the script? And a third: should the script tell the director the order in which to make the recordings? Apr 12, 2019 at 14:20
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    We do have questions on scriptwriting, and those certainly can be on topic. I'm not sure audiobook questions would be sufficiently different from those to obviously and categorically be off topic. Heck, we even have an audiobook tag.
    – user
    Apr 12, 2019 at 14:25
  • This is for ME as recording it -- it's already written (Pact, by Wildbow). So that's why I view it as an actor/recording question more than a scriptwriting one. Apr 12, 2019 at 14:39
  • I would argue that this is not about writing per se, but rather a choice on the side of the production/director. It has nothing to do with the script nor with the actual writing of the book, but rather on how the sound will be recorded and later edited. Arguably, it could go both ways depending on the production, how much money there is for hiring different actors, how good is the sound editor to join those sound bits if it is recorded separately, etc. There's no choice/decision on Scriptwriting there, the script is the same.
    – Cesar M StaffMod
    Apr 13, 2019 at 3:09
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    Depending on the point of view from which you're asking, this might fit on Literature. If you ask about what is usually done by the makers of audiobooks, then we'd probably take it on Literature. If you ask specifically about what should you do when making an audiobook, then you'd be better off here (if this site takes such questions, which as an outsider I don't know). Apr 13, 2019 at 9:11
  • I know it's not about Writing, that's why I asked where else it should go. I didn't know if there was a more specific group than literature. (Like game stuff may go to rpg, board games, game development, etc.) Apr 13, 2019 at 17:56
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    For what it's worth, and I know this question is about where you can ask the question, not the question itself.... I listen to a lot of audobooks. Edits are generally very detectable because the breath spacing wont be right/natural. As a listener you know the voices are all one person and having the natural pattern of breathing and speech interrupted by edits is always a bit of a jolt out of the flow. It might be worth looking at video sources like the old BBC series 'Jackanory' where the readers are on screen to see how seamlessly some actors can move between voices.
    – Spagirl
    Apr 15, 2019 at 9:44


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