Soundtracks add suspense to movies. The low trembling strings of the double basses and cellos tell the audience that trouble looms ahead. The romantic, swirling strings enhances a love story. And what would Casablanca be like without As Time Goes By. Music and sound effects are another form of dialog that helps tell the story.
How does an author or a publisher create an emotional soundtrack? The author has the endless variety of language. The publisher? Typefaces. There are many typefaces that can change or enhance the tone of a story. There is more to typefaces than the ubiquitous Arial and New Times Roman that we see in Word documents.
Every typeface has it’s own personality. Imagine reading Dracula that uses a Blackface typeface.
A story that is told from the perspective of an adult and a child could use a standard typeface for the adult perspective for example, Georgia.
The child’s perspective could be told using a typeface such as Treehouse.
eBook apps such as the Kobo and Nook allow you to change both the typeface and its size. Both offer a limited selection based upon readability. This is understandable. The Kobo iPad app offers Georgia, Baskerville, Trebuchet and Verdana. The Nook offers a slightly larger selection: Georgia, Joanna, Times New Roman, Ascenders Sans, Gil Sans, and Trebuchet MS. Click here to see samples of these typefaces. However, since the reader has the ability to select his or her preferred typeface, it would be nice to have a more varied selection.
Handwriting, hand print, and calligraphy can also act as a soundtrack to a story. The LiveScribe pen captures handwriting, print, sketches, whatever pen marks are placed on paper. One could also scan handwritten documents. While my handwriting is atrocious, many people have beautiful handwriting or calligraphic skills. Would people read a handwritten PDF? Comic boos, Manga, and graphic novels use this technique.
Obviously, the key is legibility. There are many ways to express a story. Technology offers many choices. Let’s explore all of them.
All images in this post are from Wikipedia.