If you have a manuscript or novel that you are considering passing off to a voiceover actor, you may want to consider seeking the help of an editor first. Because of the self-publish movement, many writers have found that they can simply write, review, and publish, skipping right past the professional editing phase. For a few, it works out fine, but for most, the lack of editing is immediately evident. So, when these pieces of writing reach the voiceover artist, there can be frustration on both ends. Why? Because, voiceover artist rely heavily on proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
Spelling The beauty of spelling is that many forms of software, such as Microsoft Word, have built in spell check programs, so it is much more difficult to misspell a word in a manuscript than it once was. However, it is important to note that the spell check will not catch every word. If you meant to type ‘off’, but mistyped, forgetting the final ‘f’, the spell check might not pick up on it, because ‘of’ is a recognized word in the dictionary. This is just one example. Our brains do odd things at times, causing our fingers to type a word that we hear someone speak, instead of the word that we intended to write, or just a random word that is spelled similarly to what we wanted to type. This is not uncommon, and one can see how it would cause some frustration when doing voiceover, because it would be read as it was written, unless it was caught ahead of time.
Grammar There are many grammar mistakes that are commonly made and not easily detected, unless by the trained eye of an editor. These issues can cause added editing time for the voiceover artist, if they are not caught before the reading. That means you spend more money, and it can be much more time consuming to fix audio than it would be to simply have the text edited in advance.
Punctuation This is, arguably, the most important reason to seek editing before voiceover. Punctuation tells a person a lot, and when reading such text aloud, the punctuation can make a big difference in the tempo and volume of the reading. An exclamation point versus a period, for instance, would change the volume in which the voiceover actor reads. And, a comma, can change the tempo of a sentence, causing a pause midway.
These are just a few of the reasons why edited texts are preferred in the voiceover community.