My voice sounds different in my head too


Everybody's does.  There's a scientific reason for that, too.

Because my voice sounds different in my head, though, it's not much use for me to just listen back to prior recordings to see what I made different characters sound like (say, for a sequel).

Instead, I have to get back in touch with what attributes I had in mind with that character, that came through in their voice. 

I love how this guy (exceptional at voices, all genders) has a "fleet of actors in his head" and he casts them in the roles that come in the books.

It's not like that for me. 

I get the sound of a character by pinning some quality to them. Qualities like "Always expects the best of everyone", "aggressive to be taken seriously". 

It's even better if I can boil it down to one word.  Caffeinated.  Skeptical.  Serene.  Snob.  Tentative.

These cues almost always come out of the narrative.  I pre-read the story, and just like everyone else reading a story, I get an imaginary vision of the characters.  But in my case, I have to get the imaginary voice.  Sometimes the author provides helpful character notes, but the story is most important.

Usually, it just starts the first few words that they speak.  I can get a little bit in and be like, no no, that's all wrong for her, and start over.  I can tell right away if I'm forcing a voice.  Good writing gives good voices- voices fall on the characters and drape them completely. 

To remember what I made a character sound like, I have to remember them, not their voice.