How can listening to an audiobook help improve your writing?
Truth be told it never occurred to me that it could be a useful tool. Until one day while working on the Sword of Tilk Trilogy I realized I could hear the narrator of the audiobook I was listening to at work read the book as I wrote it.
This gave me pause.
I visualize each scene and snippet of dialogue before and as I write it. It had never occurred to me to hear it as it might be read for an audiobook.
I found that I liked it.
Hearing someone else read it helped me to determine where the emphasis lay. It helped me find areas which needed strengthening as well as areas which might require a lighter touch.
It gave greater voice to my characters. Just as visualizing helps to describe them, listening to the reader in my head helped me hear the cadence and rhythm of their voices. This in turn helped me see and better describe their facial expressions and body movements.
It was also beneficial in writing action and descriptive passages. A good, professional audiobook reader is capable of intensifying those moments with as much emotion and drama as when reading dialogue.
It brings yet another dimension to writing and breathing life into your writing. That which heightens your writing experience will be passed on to the reader experience.