Nope, not talking about ghosts. I’m talking about me.
One of the fun growing fields in storytelling these days is the ol’ audiobook. A recording of someone telling a story. Basically a return to Homer and the classic oration of tales long and beautiful.
Homer, fortunately, didn’t have to deal with fuzzy mic pick-ups, the neighbor mowing the lawn, and cats that enjoy batting toys around the floor. I do, and so as I get ready to try out narrating, I’m adopting the sage advice of others that have come before who have learned, through hours and days and years of vocal verbosity to hide in the closet while they speak. Clothes, it seams (hah!) are natural sound dampeners. If you want to record something at home and you don’t have a studio, try using your laundry. And a closet, which likely doesn’t have windows and thus won’t pass through all the rumbly vibrations of civilization.
Now, if the thought of spending those hours talking to yourself in a dim closet doesn’t excite you… there’s always the option of hiring narrators. Popular actors and such can be recruited, even whole casts if you desire, to turn written works into marvels of performance art. This, however, is expensive (we’re talking in the thousands of dollars for a single book). As such, it’s worth a shot to see if my voice can make a suitable transition to the spoken word. If nothing else, I can use the audio software to turn myself into a poor man’s HAL 9000, which could be amusing.
All of this comes back to looking at ways to broadcast the stories as widely as possible – just the other day, a member of my frisbee team said he’d love to “read” my books, but that he listens exclusively to audio these days when he’s doing errands, putzing around, etc. That’s becoming more common. Who wants to read when we can listen? Particularly in the car or while mowing the infernal lawn (seriously, the grass just keeps growing!). Narration, like doing graphic design or writing these blog posts, leverages a different skill-set than writing fiction, which means it can be done in concert with working on new novels and short stories, which is, of course, why I’m doing this whole thing to begin with.
As for whether anything will come of the attempt, who knows. I’ll talk about it here, naturally. And the first thing I’ll be recording will be The Metal Man, the novella/short story/Mox adventure that’s free most everywhere. I’ll be posting it where folks can listen to it at their leisure and laugh at my attempts at gravitas.
This is an adventure, everyone, and treading new ground is the best part of it.