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Audiobooks Are A Must (2 Viewers)

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Darkkin

WF Veterans
Oh, I couldn't disagree more. I find audiobooks less passive than almost any other medium out there, but then again, I'm listening to every word, every sentence, every paragraph, critiquing, evaluating, considering, punctuating ...

Unlike the written word, you don't get the opportunity to reread a line (unless you rewind) so it teaches you to take it in quickly and analyse it quickly.

I'm not talking about listening to them for entertainment, I'm talking about listening to them educationally.


I read a huge amount of nonfiction, and any time I have the TV on, it is usually science/history/nature/food related. I process information differently and at a rate uncomfortable for a lot of people. Audio book pacings do not mesh well with my sensory input process, so while they are a huge boon for a majority of people they are a huge distraction and sensory dissonance for me personally. I'm not knocking the format, I'm just saying that they do not appeal to everyone for various reasons.

When I pick up a book, I commit my attention to it and filter out auditory input because visual and tactile sensory inputs are fully engaged. I have a literal mute button filter that blocks out all verbal input, coping mechanism in the wierding of my brain. (It is a visceral shift when I bring focus back to a different gear and tune into verbal cues again.)

To understand something correctly. I need the written context and punctuation as a visual cue. I need the construct to organize the ideas and concepts in a linear format. Much akin to NT brains processing verbal infliction, rhythm, cadence, and facial expressions...all things I struggle with.
 
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TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
I read a huge amount of nonfiction, and any time I have the TV on, it is usually science/history/nature/food related. I process information differently and at a rate uncomfortable for a lot of people. Audio book pacings do not mesh well with my sensory input process, so while they are a huge boon for a majority of people they are a huge distraction and sensory dissonance for me personally. I'm not knocking the format, I'm just saying that they do not appeal to everyone for various reasons.

When I pick up a book, I commit my attention to it and filter out auditory input because visual and tactile sensory inputs are fully engaged. I have a literal mute button filter that blocks out all verbal input, coping mechanism in the wierding of my brain. (It is a visceral shift when I bring focus back to a different gear and tune into verbal cues again.)

To understand something correctly. I need the written context and punctuation as a visual cue. I need the construct to organize the ideas and concepts in a linear format. Much akin to NT brains processing verbal infliction, rhythm, cadence, and facial expressions...all things I struggle with.
I understand this may be a problem for you but this is a writing forum and this advice isn't just for you. Most beginners to intermediates will benefit from what I'm suggesting. I look at life from outside in, not from inside out. Even if there was some advise that didn't work for me, I'd still pass it on for those it may help.
 

LadySilence

Senior Member
I envy a lot, those who can listen to an audio book.
I personally don't like audiobooks.
I feel like I'm cheating, and not reading.
I'm too old, I prefer books / Ebooks.
 

Darkkin

WF Veterans
I understand this may be a problem for you but this is a writing forum and this advice isn't just for you. Most beginners to intermediates will benefit from what I'm suggesting. I look at life from outside in, not from inside out. Even if there was some advise that didn't work for me, I'd still pass it on for those it may help.

Never said it was, I merely pointed out that everyone processes information in their own way. Also that for a lot of people active listening can be a struggle. Audio books when used in tandem with written media can often lend itself to better understand because of multiple sensory input. See it, hear it. e.g. Punctuation in active use context.

From what has been presented with active listening learning. It comes across as, you need to start running and you keep running and you learn fast or not at all. Almost as if missing a point and needing to go back and review is a weakness and not part of a learning curve. And for some people the methodology works, for others it can be off putting.
 
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Matchu

Senior Member
@AZ, what you describe below sounds like a personal torture.

I find audiobooks less passive than almost any other medium out there, but then again, I'm listening to every word, every sentence, every paragraph, critiquing, evaluating, considering, punctuating ...

@AZ, monk of literature, quest toward perfection. She arrive spring 2022. It is written, the muse bursteth through our open window, muse-fairy sprinkle comprehension upon a tongue and upon the very ends of fingers. You are ready, writer, she says, emergence from the lo ritual bathing of apprenticeship, your quill mighty wood-craft, exact temperature exactitude, pour the adjective and no, no, no adverb for our future! Written, she says

...
 

Darkkin

WF Veterans
Audio books open worlds for millions of people and they are a great fit for many. No arguements there. As a writing aid, one of the most logical places to start might be at the beginning, with one's own work and voice. Simply read aloud during an edit. Become your own audio book and work on your active listening skills at the same time. Verbalise your questions. Something seems off say something, get the critical thought process involved. Global sensory input. See. Say. Hear.

Is it carefully rendered critical analysis of a commerically available title, no. But it is a starting point and an easy way to learn how to actively listen. (And this is where the tripping point is...a majority of people struggle with active listening, critically assessing the information we are hearing as it is presented in that instant.) People hear, but really consider how often we listen. We all do the nod and aknowledgement sounds when others talk at us, but how much of one's attention is truly engaged?

You see the point passive vs active listening. As a tool it is alien to a lot of writers. It's a great tool, but still alien, nonetheless. It takes time and practice.
 
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Kyle R

WF Veterans
I love audiobooks, especially when they're voiced by a skilled narrator who knows how to properly dramatize the text. They can feel like a nice halfway point between literature and film. Almost like the best of both worlds.

There's a lot that goes into the making of one, too. A narrator's task is harder than it seems. My YA novel was recently made into an audiobook, and I learned a few things while collaborating with the narrator -- one of which was that a line that reads well on the page doesn't always translate into a line that sounds well, when spoken. Sometimes, slight changes need to be made, to make things more logical and/or aesthetically pleasing to the ear.

It's an interesting dynamic. And sure, not everyone enjoys audiobooks, and that's perfectly understandable. Some readers, like my wife, prefer the way stories sound in her head, rather than hearing someone else's spoken interpretation. So it's kind of a "to each, their own" sort of thing.

To me, though, audiobooks are basically storytelling, taken back to its oral roots. Back then, we sat around campfires and used our spoken words (not written words) to describe the day's hunting and foraging trip. Audiobooks are, to me, kind of the same thing. You're listening to someone tell you a story.
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
I envy a lot, those who can listen to an audio book.
I personally don't like audiobooks.
I feel like I'm cheating, and not reading.
I'm too old, I prefer books / Ebooks.
Well, the reason I do is because I get headaches. I used to read a hell of a lot and pushed through the headaches but that wasn't the most fun thing ... I started listening to audiobooks because of the above, but in doing so, realised it was forcing me to think faster and 'hear' the sound of good writing. That 'hearing' has now filtered into my own writing. Even if I can't put my finger on what's wrong, because of listening to published authors, I get this 'something's wrong here' feeling.

Perhaps try listening to audiobooks in the way I've suggested rather than the story? It still might not be for you, it wasn't for me to start with, but slowly, over time, I found them educational.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Global Moderator
I don't 'have' to, I choose to. I have a definite vision for my style and anything I can do to fast track me there, I will embrace. When I was learning to play the piano, my teacher told me I was the fastest learner he'd ever had, and he'd been doing it for years. What he didn't know about me is my persistence. I would sit there for hours going over and over one aspect of what he'd taught me until it felt a part of me, then I'd move on to another. After a week of doing that, when I played it at the lessons, I could do it with heart because the mechanics took care of themselves. Muscle memory works in writing too

I appreciate your earnestness in honing your craft. It's interesting that you chose learning a musical instrument as an example. I was going to use the same example to illustrate a different experience. Not to start a pissing contest, I’m also a fast learner. I taught myself to play the flute during summer break, so I could catch up to my peers who had taken band in grade eight. I later went on to play in a professional orchestra when I was seventeen. Like you, playing for hours a day, repetition was key. And every waking hour that I was not playing I was listening to James Gallway or Jean-Pierre Rampal.

But unlike you, I don't remember separating the heart and the mechanics. The musicality and the technique were attempted at the same time. I don't ever remember analyzing how another player played, I just listened and enjoyed it. I learned by osmosis and the desire to sound a certain way, by a natural imitation process. And like Foxee, I think we are vastly different in viewpoint, so I don't expect to change your position on this. I just think it’s fascinating how differently you approach writing.

I do like the way you compose your posts. They’re always interesting and thought-provoking and yes...full of great content. Do you use the same methodology to write a post as you do to write a story?
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
I appreciate your earnestness in honing your craft. It's interesting that you chose learning a musical instrument as an example. I was going to use the same example to illustrate a different experience. Not to start a pissing contest, I’m also a fast learner. I taught myself to play the flute during summer break, so I could catch up to my peers who had taken band in grade eight. I later went on to play in a professional orchestra when I was seventeen. Like you, playing for hours a day, repetition was key. And every waking hour that I was not playing I was listening to James Gallway or Jean-Pierre Rampal.

But unlike you, I don't remember separating the heart and the mechanics. The musicality and the technique were attempted at the same time. I don't ever remember analyzing how another player played, I just listened and enjoyed it. I learned by osmosis and the desire to sound a certain way, by a natural imitation process. And like Foxee, I think we are vastly different in viewpoint, so I don't expect to change your position on this. I just think it’s fascinating how differently you approach writing.

I do like the way you compose your posts. They’re always interesting and thought-provoking and yes...full of great content. Do you use the same methodology to write a post as you do to write a story?
I don't remove the 'heart' when I'm practising. Perhaps that's why some people have a problem with this approach. Even though I'm honing individual elements, I'm still 'writing a story.' It's just that my focus is on particular things I want to strengthen. MotherHUD is a story. The Glass Tulip is a story. Apparition is a story. It's just that I'm writing them one word, one sentence, one paragraph, one scene at a time, rather than writing them and then drafting.

Let's say I'm practising finding the right word or an interesting word. That word is still going to be chosen because it has some meaning in the context of the whole. If it's an emotional scene then the word will resonate with that emotion. If it's a humorous scene, then the word will resonate with that. When I'm practising structuring a sentence, I'm not just thinking coldly about the sentence structure, I'm considering my options and thinking of what I'm trying to convey in the context of the paragraph/scene.

I'm not saying divorce yourself from emotion/meaning/story.
 

Darkkin

WF Veterans
In a prior post you said that the story didn't matter. It had no worth when it comes to mechanics and technique. That is divorcing one's self from the emotional aspects to perfect technical merit at the cost of the story itself...(Cold, hard truth thread...I'll have to double check.)

From a reader's standpoint one can be perfect technically, but still have an abysmal piece. I've read them and critiqued them.

Something that holds true for a vast majority of readers is the story, not the shining glory of its literary merit for style.

A line that come to mind is a scene between Hotch and Prentiss is Criminsl Minds when Hotch mentions knowing Prentiss' mother.

Hotch said, 'She's an impressive woman.'

Prentiss countered with a simple, but very speaking question. 'Yeah, but did you like her?

Exact same scenario here. Technical merit only resonates so far with people. When they talk books listen. How often do they wax loquacious when it comes to merit and linear styling?
 

TheMightyAz

Staff member
Mentor
In a prior post you said that the story didn't matter. It had no worth when it comes to mechanics and technique. That is divorcing one's self from the emotional aspects to perfect technical merit at the cost of the story itself...(Cold, hard truth thread...I'll have to double check.)

From a reader's standpoint one can be perfect technically, but still have an abysmal piece. I've read them and critiqued them.

Something that holds true for a vast majority of readers is the story, not the shining glory of its literary merit for style.

A line that come to mind is a scene between Hotch and Prentiss is Criminsl Minds when Hotch mentions knowing Prentiss' mother.

Hotch said, 'She's an impressive woman.'

Prentiss countered with a simple, but very speaking question. 'Yeah, but did you like her?

Exact same scenario here. Technical merit only resonates so far with people. When they talk books listen. How often do they wax loquacious when it comes to merit and linear styling?
I'm not interested in it doesn't mean it's not there. My focus is entirely on the things I'm trying to improve but you can't improve them if you don't know the context. That goes without question. I've still got an idea and concept of the story but when I'm writing it, I focus entirely on each element I'm trying to improve. As I said above, if I'm writing a sad scene or humorous scene, I've got that in the back of my mind when practising. It's just not of any interest to me while I'm practising. That part of the writing process IS automatic and doesn't require practice. It's on autopilot. Once I've written that sentence, paragraph, scene, I'll often read it out loud to see if it has the right tone for my needs.
 

LadySilence

Senior Member
Well, the reason I do is because I get headaches. I used to read a hell of a lot and pushed through the headaches but that wasn't the most fun thing ... I started listening to audiobooks because of the above, but in doing so, realised it was forcing me to think faster and 'hear' the sound of good writing. That 'hearing' has now filtered into my own writing. Even if I can't put my finger on what's wrong, because of listening to published authors, I get this 'something's wrong here' feeling.

Perhaps try listening to audiobooks in the way I've suggested rather than the story? It still might not be for you, it wasn't for me to start with, but slowly, over time, I found them educational.
Thanks for the advice.
I'll try. I provero with audiobooks, on You tube, to get started.
 
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