Written by: Tony Agent 009
Voice over is my passion and love. I think I’ve always been sort of an auditory wordsmith. I enjoy the audible aesthetics of words. If you take away any meaning and just listen to the words as sounds, it becomes a whole different experience. It’s hard to do if you speak the language, but think of it this way; have you ever listened to a language you don’t speak and just enjoyed the beauty of the sounds? Listen to Italian, Spanish, or French and you’ll hear just audio beauty. If you speak those languages, then pick another and just enjoy. (As an American I only speak 1 language because that’s all I can fit in there. Too much Twitter and Pretzel Bun sandwiches on the brain.)
When I receive scripts for voice over, I can always tell if I’m either working with a script writer or a copy writer. I think there’s a distinction there. In the general sense those terms are interchangeable, but I think there is a difference that should be noted. A script writer is someone who writes scripts to be spoken (not just a cleaver name right?). A copy writer could cover more of a general purpose in writing. They might be writing blog posts, books, articles, recipes, a new novel about a lonely vampire, anything with words. The difference here is one focuses on the spoken word (scripts) and the other the written form (copy).
Voice over writing is very different from writing words for reading. Sometimes I get scripts and the language is so jumbled and convoluted, no person would ever speak that way. What’s harder is making those scripts sound real in voice over and sometimes comes out stuffy and detached.
My pals over at Holdcom wrote a nice piece about using flowery language in voice over scripts. While it speaks to on hold messaging specially, it really applies to all voice over scripts.
Here’s a simple and easy trick for knowing if the script you’re writing is good for a voice over talent; say it out loud. If you say the words and it doesn’t flow or sound like it should, then maybe a rewrite is in order.
Language is auditory beauty, and using the right words can make your script come to life. If you’re not sure the script you’re working on is right for voice over, get an audition! They’re normally free and you can hear your words come to life.
(*Special note: doing rounds of voice over auditions just to get your script right is not something you want to do. Respect the talent just as much as they respect the words you have written. Makes the process easier!)
Get a free voice over audition on your script and see how it flows! Who knows! We may make some word art together.