The Difference Between Listening and Hearing

The polishing for Season One of Greenstar proceeds apace, so we are on target to release early Autumn. Therefore, reachers for the further prize that we are, Simon and I are working on putting out Season One as an audio book later this year as well. To which end I have spent the morning considering the aural equivalent of an indent.

The process we are using to create an audio version is quite simple:

And, in addition to making an audio-book, reading it out has found the occasional mistype that copy-editing didn’t catch.

However – until I started editing the audio files – I had never considered the length of pauses people leave between sentences when speaking.

Or, more critically, how many milliseconds is long enough for a listener to neither assume the next sentence is a continuation of the same character’s speech nor actively notice a pause.

At this point, some of you will be hoping for an answer, and I would give one if I had it. However, based on the pauses that sounded right to me, the length of pauses between sentences and speakers is proportional to the pace of the moment.

And, as with the objective artificiality required to make written dialogue subjectively realistic, there is a difference between what sounds right in casual speech and what sounds right through a set of headphones.

So the process would seem to be more poetry than prose.

Do you record your own audio-books? Do you listen to audio-books?


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