Yup, I did.
I narrated the first chapter of naughty pen’s book! It’s weird to hear your voice reading twelve minutes of a story out loud; weirder still when you read it as if you’re a narrator, like a real narrator. But I did it anyway and it counted as my accomplishment today, which is really one more distraction from the actual writing. I guess when I said that one of my resolutions this year was not to have a publishing schedule, I guess I meant it.
But seriously, I’ve always read my books out loud as part of editing. It helps me establish a rhythm to the prose, a cadence within the words and sentences and paragraphs. I don’t follow rules of short sentences followed by long sentences or whatnot. I simply write a chapter, then read it out loud to see if it sounds natural, especially when there’s dialogue.
It also meant, eventually, narration would come next especially when I had invested in a Blue Yeti microphone last year along with that thing you put in the front to get rid of mouth noise or whatever. I’d originally bought it because I was going to do a podcast but I suck at podcasts. Too many um’s and ah’s.
Not so much when I read a book or article out loud. And so this morning, with the kid at school I figured, hey, why not give it a go and say I did it? If it’s terrrible, so what? At least, I tried, right?
Here’s a snippet:
I don’t like that I have an accent and didn’t warm up before recording and so I end up mincing a few words, but there’s nothing I can do about that now. What matters is that I actually did it. I did learn how to edit the work and recognize “mouth sounds,” and boy, were there lots of them.
One of the other things I learned from the experience is that I like narrating. I really do. My first real job, while I was in college, was as a radio newscaster. It had begun as an internship but after the internship was over, they hired me to do the news and spin a few records… or during that time, put the tapes in. They weren’t exactly eight-track cartridges, but they were kinda like that back in those days.
And so I’m used to being in front of a microphone and reading things. But saying things off the top of my head? Not so much.
I have no idea if I’m going to continue narrating the first book. That’s 8K words, I think, of the first part with a total of 47K for all three parts. It probably will run a total of 5 hours of finished work, give or take. But that doesn’t mean it’s five hours of recording. It’s five hours of finished recording, not including the edited portions, the listening again and again for mouth sounds and other sounds that may crop up while recording to clean it up, proof it, and who knows what else. Turns out, the narration is the easiest part.
But since I’m still learning, it’s all good. And I’ll get to narrate naughty pen’s book as practice in the process… you know, for research.
Someone just needs to remind me about those publishing deadlines…