Monday, March 18, 2013

Audiobook Adventures: Week 9

I had a wholly positive experience this week.  I auditioned for a piece, and got an acceptance within twelve hours.  They sent me the manuscript, and I figured I'd just sit down and record the whole thing from beginning to end (yeah, I said that was foolish the last time, but I somehow justified it this time).

Kids, your voice changes depending on the time of day, how hydrated you are, how long you've been recording, whether you're tired, and whether you find Kristen Stewart attractive or not, so it's good to sit down and record at least to the end of a chapter before stopping.  If you stop in the middle of a section, then pick it up later, it will probably sound different, at least somewhat, so it's better to find a natural break in the story, so it won't be as jarring.* 

So, since it was a short story (a really short one, about a half hour total), I thought I'd record the whole thing, then edit the first fifteen minutes, and go on to the rest of the story once they'd signed off on that first fifteen.

Well, they had no issues with that first section, and gave me the go-ahead to continue, so the next day, I sat down and edited until the story was finished, then chopped it up, uploaded it, and hit "Done."  Within another twelve hours, I had gotten the whole darn thing approved.  The entire process took less than four days, and someday soon, that reading will be up on Audible, where maybe nobody will buy it.  We'll see.

But that's a pretty awesome experience; the kind of thing that would make me want to do this as a Job.  Of course, I have no friggin' idea how someone does what I do as a job.  Back in our hardest-working Dunesteef days, Big and I would record maybe five hours straight, and then HAVE to quit, because it is both vocally and physically exhausting to perform that long.  If I were to read something the size of a Clancy book, or worse, one of those gorram "Wheel of Time" monstrosities, I don't know how I'd do it.  I'd have people around me, handing me water bottles, reminding me there was an entire staff depending on me, forcing me to concentrate on the text, and showing me their cleavage, so maybe that would help.

Conversely, I still haven't finished with the very first project I signed up for, the one I've complained about often in these pages (too often?), where I'm dealing with an agent rather than a writer. On that one, she had quite a few issues with my work at the start, and I've done what I can to make things sound better since then.

In fact, I'd say that my trouble with that agent has raised the bar for all of my work this year. I've been cutting out breath sounds, listening with headphones instead of my speakers, even recording lines again if I THINK I may have made a sound with my mouth, or the chair, or the microphone, or my butt.

It's almost paranoid, but without Big in the room to listen for odd pronunciations, mis-said words, or funny deliveries, I've had to focus a lot harder on my narration than I ever did before.  I've become more and more intent on removing any roomtone from the recordings, and have strived to improve my work for all the audio-related projects I do.

I got another cash offer for a recording (bringing me to two, with all the rest being a royalty split deal) right after typing this up.  It's for a post-apocalyptic Western, and I think I can do some great things with it.  Plus, like I said, it has a dollar sign attached to it, and if you do something well . . .

Rish Outfield, Audiobook Guy

*Heck, I can hear the difference in my voice if I read a sentence and take a drink of water (or blow my nose) before reading the next sentence. 


ryanlb said...

Damn you! None of you would be alive if it wasn't for The Wheel of Time books!

Seraph said...

Oh jeez - The Wheel of Goddamn Time. I got to book four before I quit. Seriously - if you can't tell your story in freaking ten phone book sized novels, and you DIE before you can finish, you shouldn't have started in the first place.

A post-apoc Western sounds really cool.

pagefamily said...
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Big Anklevich said...

Sweet, working for pay is so much better than not. I told you that if you stopped standing on the corner at that freeway exit with the "Will Narrate for Food" sign that you might actually get some money instead.