What listening to audiobooks taught me about writing

I’m a recent convert to audiobooks. For years, I never had much patience for them. If you’re a fast reader, one who can knock out a novel in a few hours, spending 10-20 hours on a single book can feel like some kind of sick joke.

What d’you mean… I can’t skip over the boring scenes…?

…I can’t blah-blah-blah through that pointless subplot…?

…I can’t flick to the end and see if whodunnit makes the mystery worth sticking with…?

When you listen to a book in audio form, you’re committing to reading it in its true form. You’re stuck with it, through good plot twists and bad, through fascinating characters and stock villains. If you want to know what happens, you have to be willing to accept any flaws – you can’t just skim-read them away.

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