Friday, January 03, 2014

Audiobook Adventures: Chapter 32

I had two interesting experiences in the last Dumarest book.  Well, interesting may be overstating it.

The first was that the book's titular character, Kalin, was a woman, and I had to determine how I would say her name.  First, I said, "kay-leen," because that sounds like a name.  But after a while, that started to bother me, and I switched it to "Kal-lyn," to rhyme with "howlin."  I went back and changed the first pronunciations to be in line with the second one.

But then, my work hired some dude, a scruffy-looking guy with Wolverine facial hair, and his name turned out to be Kalin.  He pronounced it "Kay-lin," and every time I saw him, I'd say his name like the girl in the book I was narrating, and then I'd apologize.  Toward the end, I started to get his name right, and you guessed it, when the girl's name showed up again in Book Five, I said it to rhyme with "wailin."  Irritating.

Secondly, there was a moment in the book where the text had two men arguing, and one of them shouted, "F--- you."

Nothing unusual there, I suppose, as everyone has had that said to them, either by a three year old child or a Jehovah's Witness, but I didn't know what to do with it.

Due to, I'm guessing, sensitivities of the era, or the publisher's policy, they had substituted the blank line for the word, and I'm (at least somewhat) cool with that.*

But how does one reproduce that in audio?

The way I saw it, there were three options:
1.  Say the word instead of the dashes,
2.  Say the word, then insert a BLEEP in its place,
3.  Say the "Ffff" sound and then nothing after it.

So, I did three different versions, one where I said it, one where I said "fff" and one where I actually said, "Eff you!"  Which, while a bit weak, is something people actually say.

But I wasn't sure what to go with when it came time to edit it, so I emailed the rights owners, and asked what they preferred. 

I was surprised to hear the publisher say, "I'd just say 'fuck' there.  You're a big boy."  She did, however, add, "If you're uncomfortable with that, you may change it to 'screw.'"

So, there's that.  Hopefully, this story was at least somewhat interesting.  If not, I wonder why you keep reading these little updates.  Only our mission for the Fuhrer matters.  I wonder sometimes, monsieur, if you have that clearly in mind.

Rish Outfield, Audiobook Childe

*Reading comic books, I always admired the substitution of #$@! for actual profanity.  I think it's a wonderful tool, and I totally prefer it to some writers' uses of "Go to hades!" or "What the blazes are you doing?"  The reader can just insert what they like there, and that totally works for me.  But I could write a whole series of posts on bowdlerization, and how there are clever substitutions (changing "fuck" to "forget," for example) and infantile, stupid, insulting substitutions (like saying "flip you" or "I'm miffed, Rog, let's get these funsters!")

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