Monday, March 25, 2013

Audiobook Adventures: Week 10

Ten weeks I've been doing this?  Am I insane?

Okay, so I've now, at the time of this writing, finished five projects (of thirteen), and have recorded some or all of the rest.*  It has been, well, not fun exactly, but "interesting," at least, to work on these things each day, choosing which one to work on, and for how long.

I definitely have my favorites.  The Western I talked about last week had several characters in it, which I did distinct voices for (any member of my family will recognize my impression of my dad's voice for the main character), and didn't want to have to keep straight, so I recorded the whole thing in a twenty-four hour period.  I finally marked as "Completed" the two projects I initially took on for the agent rather than the writer, and the last I heard, there are still issues with the sound quality (which, sure, are probably there, but these are projects I started in January, so they aren't going to be on the same level as what I recorded today), but as far as I'm concerned, they are finished and (hopefully) forgotten.**

And then, there's one of those early-on projects I accepted, a novel, that is just too long, and too unpolished for me to do too much of at one time.  There are so many typos and errors and moments when the text becomes present tense instead of past tense that it takes around a third as long for each chapter as it has for any other project.  And the thing is a NOVEL.  I realized this week that, to finish it before the deadline, I'd have to record a chapter a day, and have the one from the day before edited, and even then it'll be close.  I don't know what happens if you miss a deadline, but I'm pretty sure I'm gonna find out in this case.  Ah well.

Renee warned me back in January to do as she said (not as she did), and always read the story/book before agreeing to produce it.  That's good advice, Marty, but I wonder how one reads the complete work of something before the license-holder has sent it to you, and if anybody has that kind of time to kill.  Still, these works are all out there on, and if I had read somebody's review of a piece that said "This book is long enough as to feel endless, a million pages of rambling prose, with a typo on every single page, sometimes several.  You will pray for death before the end," well, I think that would've given me pause.

Even so, I have been productive this week.  I work pretty much every night on my audiowork, and though I've been discouraged, and it looks like I will continue to be, it's at least somewhat in my control (and wheelhouse), and I'll keep it up, at least until I finish up all my current projects.

And you know, the novel I've been slogging through has one thing going for it (besides a fantastic narrator, I mean): this guy at least tried.  He created something pretty unique, and that's what drew me to the premise in the first place.  It's not another book about zombies (the most over-drawn well in Horror today), vampires (the most over-drawn well in Horror within my lifetime), or serial killers (the . . . something); he created his own mythology, with different beings and boogeymen, with their own evil schemes and abilities, and threw a bunch of human characters in the mix to either join them or try to fight them.

I have to laud that.  You don't know how many times I have read the premise for a movie (or a podcast novel or audio drama) and thought, "Wow, that sounds really cool.  Too bad they had to use zombies instead of something else."  Okay, if you're Big Anklevich you know how many times I've thought that, because I've complained about it to him almost as much as he's complained to me about Santa Claus kids movies.

The thing is: Horror has a very low bar to clear, and most folks rely on the same-old same-old.  Hell, I was writing zombie stories twenty-five years ago, so I know what I'm talking about.  But to come up with your own monsters, your own mythology, well, that's more of a challenge, and it can crash down on you if you don't think it through.  The author of this book has tried his best to create an underworld of good and evil that's not just a carbon copy of what's come before (or sparkly poor excuses for what's come before).

That doesn't mean you should forgive typos and errors in the triple digits, but I am at least aware that there's a little sweet among the bitter.

And speaking of sweet: one person has bought a copy of my reading of "Dead End Street."  Big said it was probably the author's mother, but that $2.25 spends just the same.

Rish Outfield, Semi-Pro

*One project is in limbo, frankly, as I recorded the first fifteen minutes, uploaded it, and have waited, I don't know, three weeks?, without having it approved.  I ain't complaining, though.  It's nice to have one that I can continue to put off, while my myriad deadlines approach.

**Since writing this, I did get an email from the agent, listing the errors still in the recording, and that she didn't like me giving myself credit for the production, but those were quick and easy fixes.  So I wash my hands of them.

No comments: