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Translating An Author's Intent and Innermost Thoughts

By Stephanie Ciccarelli

December 21, 2011

Comments (1)

Man narrating or recording a voice over.Do you write?

Perhaps you blog and decide to share select thoughts with anyone who happens to come across them. Those writings might also lend themselves to be read and subsequently interpreted by voice artists in an audiobook.

Whether you write, read, or do both, I'd love to hear your thoughts on translating an author's innermost thoughts in today's edition of VOX Daily!


When you write and share parts of your life, you can choose how much you disclose depending on your comfort level with sharing personal information, feelings and the like. The same is true of authors who write works meant to be consumed by audiences large and small whether it be poetry, prose or a work of greater proportions.

Bearing that in mind, fiction and non-fiction books can serve as vehicles for authors to share personal experiences through their own voices or fictitious characters. Many manuscripts nowadays are recorded in digital audio format and released at the same time as their print and electronic versions.


For the most part, the VOX Daily readership comprises of people who read what others have to say and communicate their message as best they can through spoken word recordings. Narrators breathe life into the written word, and while a text can be very telling, narrators still need to make choices that best convey an author's intent to the listening audience.


When it comes time to narrating pieces that do share the writer's or journalist's innermost thoughts, I wanted to ask if doing so makes you uncomfortable or if you enjoy the challenge of getting into the head of someone else and translating their thoughts to an audience?

Communicating the author's intent is a great responsibility, and the more research you do on the author, the text and what inspired them at the time of their writing, the more authoritative and believable your read will be.

Communicating Responsibly

Does the responsibility of translating an author's intent ever make you nervous? How do you prepare to give the most authentic delivery possible?

Comment and let me know!

Best wishes,


©iStockphoto.com/Hal Bergman

Related Topics: reading, SAG


    When I teach voice-over, I always emphasize that you are a voice ACTOR. As with any other acting job, you have to take on the point of view of the character in any piece from commercials to narration. In the case of narration, you need to understand the writer's point of view. However, the hallmark of good acting is not how YOU feel, but how you want the listener to feel (or what you want them to do). It's no good if I'M crying during the piece, it's getting you there that's the point. If I focus on the listener, I'm always more successful.

    As far as discomfort goes, I make it a point not to voice any material with which I am not sympathetic.

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