The Audio Struggle Nears an End

I see why audiobooks cost so much to produce. I listen to audiobooks all of the time, and I don’t think I ever fully appreciated how much work goes into them. I mean, of course, I appreciated the fact that they exist. They’ve made many a commute more tolerable for me. My love for them is actually one reason I wanted to start making them.

But holy cow. Recording is grueling. Editing is even more grueling. The first night I worked on editing, it took me 2 hours to edit 6 minutes of audio. I’m not kidding. There was a bit of a learning curve with the software. I had to look a few things up, but most of that time was editing.

I’m still new at all of this, including reading my stuff out loud, so there was a lot of stopping and starting again. If I stumbled over words, I read them again. Apparently, sometimes I write in tongue-twister form. Who knew?

I edited out some breathing and some throat clearing noises, etc, maybe a drink or two of water. It was a lot. By the end of it, I will say that my reading was better and required less editing.

I need to work on opening my mouth a little wider when I speak, and I need to work on making the different characters’ voices more distinct. I learned that when I rerecord a certain part, not to start in the middle of a sentence. Duh.

I also feel that I sound a little more country than I’d like. The husband says I don’t, but I hear it in certain words.

The length of audio before editing was an hour and 48 minutes. It is now an hour and 4 minutes, which is a little less than ACX’s length estimate calculator. If I remember correctly, it said the estimate was 75 minutes.

I still have some sentences that I need to rerecord and splice in. That shouldn’t take too long, I hope. Then I’ll have to clean the whole thing up in Audacity and make sure the file meets ACX requirements. Then, if all goes well, we’ll be off to the races, kids.

off to the races.jpg

 

 

 

Sunday

I think that my blood must be the mosquito equivalent of chocolate cake, or maybe steak. I swear every time I go outside for more than a walk to my car, I get swarmed by the things. The weather is nice, though, when it isn’t broiling. Sunshine is good. Green plants are good.

I am pleased to report that the final AnnaBeth book is off to see the wizard (Lady Editor), and as long as no major problems arise, that book should be ready sometime within the next 2-3 months. It’s the last part of a trilogy, so I’m not going to do a big release thing for it.

I have many tasks ahead to wrap up the trilogy. I’m releasing new editions of the first 2 books at the same time I release the print edition of book 3, so the to-do list involves 3 print covers and 3 rounds of interior formatting. It won’t be fun, but the end result is going to look very cool. That is excellent motivation.

What else. Oh, yes. I decided to release the middle-grade book (kids’ book) I wrote a year or 2 ago. It’s been done for a while, and I’ve been holding it for a few reasons, one of which is that I wanted to write the second book in the series before I released the first.

I had this whole idea that I would release them at the same time and make the first book free. I changed my mind because I don’t think that a free book is as big a draw as it used to be. There are too many. You could seriously pack a Kindle or a Kindle app to the gills and never pay a penny. I might make it free in select places like on the Wattpad app or maybe through my website directly. We’ll see.

So, yeah. I plan to release that one around November 15th. I’m releasing it then for the holiday shopping season and so that I have a nice, long time to get my marketing game together.

Slowly but surely, progress is made.

writer author fiction book

Mo Chapters on Wattpad

Two new chapters of The Blood of Guardians are up in Wattpad! I also found a completely butchered spelling of “camaraderie” in the first chapter, so that’s fixed now. Apparently that was a word that I could not spell, but I can now. YAY!  😀

Oh, if you haven’t read the first story, What the Dead Fear is on there too. Here’s a link. The second one will probably make more sense if you read the first things first.

In other very quick news, I’m writing a new thing!!! I haven’t written anything that wasn’t a rewrite in over a year, so I’m really excited. It’s the last AnnaBeth book, so if you’ve been waiting for that, I am officially working on it. I noticed the other day that the previous installment of the trilogy came out 4 years ago. 4 years!!! I did NOT mean to wait this long to finish it! I’m about 10,000 words in.

 

NaNoWriMo Day 19

Hey there, internets! I’m popping in for a quick update on my nanowrimo efforts.

As of yesterday, my daily word count average was about 1650, which puts me a little shy of the 1667 words a day I need in order to hit my 50,000 word goal by the end of the month. So, yes, a little behind but nothing that will discourage me.

One thing I’ve been doing is waking up 20 minutes early in the morning and writing for a while before I leave for work. I enjoy this more than I thought I would and I might actually continue this habit after nano ends. I get to do what I love first instead of just hauling my sorry ass out of bed to go to the place I don’t love.

This morning, I managed to bang out 768 words in that 20 minutes. Good times.

I previously tried to push this out to 30 minutes, and that did not go well. Apparently that extra ten minutes of sleep makes all the difference in whether my brain decides to cooperate.

I’m also happy to have all those notes I made beforehand. I don’t follow every detail, but as far as the backbone of the story goes, they’re keeping me on course.

My favorite writing playlist has been a compilation of instrumental Deadmau5 songs from 4 or 5 of his albums. It is very good writing music, upbeat but not intrusive at all, and I have so much of it that I can put it on shuffle and not be annoyed.

Favorite brain fuel has been the V8 energy fusion. This is tasty and has both vitamins and caffeine. Go juice.

nanowrimo go juice

I do have a concern that the story I’m writing could possibly end before I hit the nanowrimo goal of 50,000 words. Right now, the total word count for the book is 46801. I started with 15364 words at the beginning of nano. I need about 19,000 more words (rounding up).

I don’t plan to drag out the story just so I can stick a crown on my head. I’m a firm believer in letting a thing be what it wants to be. If I do end up short of my nano goal, I’ll probably go back and see if I missed any scenes. If I didn’t then, hey, done is done, and I’ll take that as a consolation prize.

Possible obstacle to completion: husband scheduled a social visit with friends for saturday night. ugh, social frickin’ butterfly. I have stuff to do.

Laters.

The Contestant by CJ Lea

Hey there! One of the very talented people in my writer group recently released her book and you should definitely read it! I had the opportunity to check it out a couple of weeks ago, and I can tell you it’s very good. Lots of action and intrigue and not very nice people doing not very nice things.

the contestant

For Raymond, the online contests were only ever about the money. A brilliant and resourceful serial killer, a hit-and-run accident five years ago left him confined to a wheelchair, and he now makes a humble living pursuing prizes under stolen and fake identities, and selling them online.

But when a $10 million treasure hunt comes up, Raymond begins to realize just how small and insignificant his life has become. This treasure hunt could be his salvation—the perfect opportunity to recoup a standard of living he once enjoyed, to regain the respect he once garnered as a behavioral analyst and profiler.

The moment Raymond registers for the contest, however, the first email arrives. Someone out there knows him, knows his past, knows details he thought were long buried. Now, there’s only one way for Raymond to find his blackmailer and put an end to the threats: Play the game and follow the treasure hunt clues.

And this time, it’s not about the money.

Also available in the Kindle Lending Library for Prime Members.

Link to the book on Amazon

Wait for It

 

I finished listening to a book called The Darkling the other day. I liked the writing, for the most part. The author is good with descriptions. However, middle of the book had some troubles in terms of story structure.

 

I’ve read that tension in writing is created by delaying gratification. This author was a little annoying about it. Too many answers were delayed for too long, I think.

 

The Darkling is a gothic horror, so scary things were happening.  The same scary things, over and over with very little substantial progression for an extended period of time. Claw marks in the dirt. Creepy thing lurking in the woods. Threats, etc.  Honestly, they could’ve cut a bunch of scenes, and the story wouldn’t have changed significantly. It was filler.

 

And then you finally get to the answers toward the end, and they come in the form of an information dump – a letter in which everything is just word vomited.

 

I realize the author was trying to maximize the tension. I know this. But some of those details sprinkled throughout would’ve been better. At least one of them revealed earlier on would’ve added considerable depth to the story.

 

So remember, friends, it’s okay not to hold onto every little thing until the end of the book. It annoys the reader, especially when that reader (or listener) is me.

word vomit

Anne Rice and Her Advice

That’s right. My post title rhymes.

Today I have a video. Well, actually Anne Rice has a video. I especially enjoyed her assertion that there are no rules in writing. That made me like her even more than I did before. A lot of people who offer advice on writing seem to have these strict ideas in their heads about what writing should be. Don’t use adjectives or adverbs. Don’t do this or that. Bah. They can keep that mess.

While I was watching the video, I got sidetracked and needed to pause. I caught Anne looking surprised. If you jumped out of her closet and scared her, this is the face she would make.

terrified anne rice

Here’s the video.