Can Audiobooks Teach You How to Write a Novel Just as Much as Physical Books? UK Book Editor Reveals
Professional book editor in the UK explores the truth of whether audiobooks can teach aspiring authors how to write a novel as much as physical books, or whether they should only use the latter to hone their craft!
Recently, I've started listening to audiobooks on Borrowbox, a library app that allows you to borrow eBooks and audiobooks for free, but it's got me thinking: can audiobooks teach writers how to write a novel just as much as a physical book?
Although aspiring authors are advised to read as much and as widely as possible, there isn't always the time to sit down with a paperback.
It might be easy to assume that authors have all the time in the world to draft their manuscripts and read piles of books, but that's not true.
Us writers have careers, jobs, extra curricular activities, hobbies, families, friends & other commitments that limit our time to sit and read books, so audiobooks can be a great solution.
However, how much do audiobooks actually help writers to improve their fiction writing skills compared to a hard copy book?
This post will list 6 reasons that prove that audiobooks are just as useful as physical books, and 3 reasons to suggest why they're not.
6 Reasons for Yes 👇
1. A Story is a Story
Despite all the differences in opinions surrounding audiobooks, you can't argue with the fact that you're still following a story, meeting fictional characters and immersing yourself into a new setting when listening to an audiobook.
Just because you're not physically reading the text within the pages of a physical novel, it doesn't mean that you're absorbing any less of a story.
You can still get a clear sense of the beginning, middle and end and the various plot points of the three-act structure, helping you to learn or become more familiar with the overall shape of a well-structured novel. And you can still learn how the author has incorporated plot twists, cliffhangers, subplots and character/story arcs into the book.
Listening to audiobooks can also spark new ideas or inspiration that you may not get by physically reading a novel, mainly because listening triggers a different part of the brain, so you might find that you actually retain more of the information through listening and therefore conjure more ideas of your own.
2. Listening Can Trump Reading
Believe it or not, there are a few benefits that audiobooks can give you that physically reading a book just can't.
For example, you can physically hear where the natural breaks and pauses are as the reader tells you the story, and I know that's the purpose of commas, but when you're reading in your head, you may not take any notice of the commas as you race through the text, but when you're listening to an audiobook, the reader forces you to pause when they pause, forcing you to take notice of them.
As a result, you're more likely to think more carefully about the placement of your punctuation and add breaks & pauses in more natural places.
Another benefit that audiobooks have over physical books is that they can teach you how to pronounce new or unfamiliar words, whether they're in our current dictionaries or a word the author has made up just for their novel.
How many times have you been physically reading a book and stumbled across a word you've never seen before, but instead of figuring out how to properly pronounce it, you just skim past it every time it reappears, your brain making it sound like "asdfghjk" in your mind?
You wouldn't get that with an audiobook.
As someone is reading the story to you, they have to know how to pronounce the words properly, so you're then able to pick them up much faster, and as a result, you've got a few new words to add to your vocabulary.
3. Dyslexic Writers
Although having dyslexia is more than just struggling with reading and spelling, those two obstacles are part of the diagnosis for many people, which has stopped too many people from reading for too long.
However, as there's no cure for dyslexia, audiobooks are a massive solution that helps many more people enjoy stories just like anyone else.