I’m not quite done the book yet. It’s really the last listen, editing out the little pieces and making sure I’m clear. a 90000 word novel is a lot to go through. But this process has been an amazing one for me. I got to really look at what I do with audio and get better and I learned some things in the process.
Lesson number one: I need to represent myself better
This has been easily the most detail I’ve ever done on an edit. A 90k novel with multiple languages was an interesting challenge. The important thing was to be as clear as possible. Each page was a few different takes. The chapter I worked hardest on was chapter 9. It’s a very emotional part of the book and I wanted to hit on how vulnerable the main character was in this situation. He wasn’t used to the powerlessness, and the strength his mother showed in this scene was emphasized.
It got me thinking about my podcast. I do three episodes a week and I do a lot of what I do automatically. I’ve done hundreds of episodes. It’s easy to get caught in your process, and this assignment forced me to re-evaluate my work for myself.
It’s easy to take yourself for granted. I find we tend to sell ourselves short and I’m not different than anyone else that way. I looked at why I worked so hard at this to make it perfect. Now if I want to be a little bit truthful, but not quite accurate, it’s that I don’t like having my show perfect. Just Joshing is an eclectic show and I don’t want it to feel fully professional. I’ve interviewed people in bars, casinos, coffee shops and I keep those details in on purpose.
That’s my work. Audiobooks are my work, but they’re not about me. It’s about representing the story as best I can for my clients. And that means going deeper and going for as professional sounding quality as possible.
So my goals are different. What are the things in my current assignment that can I incorporate to make my other stuff better?
We can always get better, and this has made me rethink the whole podcast.
Lesson Number Two: I click a lot
I see this little line in the audio file and I know now it’s my tongue clicking with my mouth. I’ve heard it on every page I’ve read. I had no idea it was that much. I’m talking a lot more in the readings than I do on my podcasts, so this happens. I stay more hydrated now. Lesson learned.
Beware the vertical dashes.
Lesson Three: You Bring A Lot to the Story
My admiration for voice actors went through the roof doing this. I look at a show like Fairy Tale or Stein’s Gate with a whole new level of respect. The actors and actresses on the show project emotions into the images on the screen. They add life to a character and give them a depth and dimension that wouldn’t otherwise be there.
I had to do the same thing here. I had to take my main character, a knight templar variant, and give him gravity. I found there was a quiet sadness to him. This was a man coming to terms with the fact that he couldn’t solve the problems of his world with his own two hands, and he was reminded of it over and over again. The more he tried to assert himself, the more mistakes he made.
You experience the character’s journey when you read. That’s why books are awesome. We hallucinate about new worlds and empathize with what we read on the page. I brought my own imagination to it. My favorite character was Talia. Talia was trouble and reminded me of many women I’ve loved in life. There was a vibrant quality to her. She was mischievous and very tragically vulnerable. She was the main character’s conscience and I felt her frustration at the end.
My job was to project those feelings I felt, and let the reader feel what I felt. It was my way to contribute to the story. I’m not as good as a voice actor, and won’t pretend otherwise, but I hope my parts add something to the story told.
Lesson Four: My Client is a great writer
I’ll reveal who it is in a week or so. That said, He’s really good. He wrote an old school science fiction and it was amazing to read. I like science fiction stories that force tough choices in my characters, yet also makes flawed, relatable people. I liked who the author wanted me to like, and despised who he wanted me to despise. This is a great book.
- I have to do better with my own products. I have to treat mine as if they are someone else’s. I can’t dismiss my work.
- I know the tongue click whenever I see it
- My respect for voice actors and other narrators are through the roof
- I add something to a story with my own voice
- The author that wrote the book is incredible
This was a great experience. I hope to do it again. And if you want me to be the one to tell your story, click here and let’s talk. I’m looking for my next client. Let me help you tell your story the way it deserves to be heard.