So, aside from the recently launched/about to launch Days of Geek podcast, I’ve been talking about podcasting fiction for a long time.
I’ve finally started, picking a ‘get my feet wet’ project to begin with, a 13,000-word fantasy novelette I wrote a couple of years ago. Thorvald’s Wyrd is a good trial piece in a lot of ways, but there are two big ones.
First, it’s only 13,000 words. That should make it an audio project with a clearly visible end right from the beginning.
And second, the scenes in the story are very short, exactly 100 words long apiece. I’ve broken it up into 10 episodes of 12-14 scenes each with nice little cliffhangers for every episode but the last one. I don’t know if that could have worked out better with planning.
Oh, and third, the non-immediate family feedback I’ve had on the story prior to now has been almost universally good, so I’m comfortable putting it out there. In fact, it’s already out there as a long series of blog posts.
The process is a little more involved than you might think if you’ve never thought of podcasting before, but I’ve simplified it down to 8 steps for my own piece of mind.
- 1. Scripting: the story is in its final form, but here is where I go through and highlight every speaking characters lines in different colours (there are only four with more than one line of speech). I’m planning effects on a couple of voices and may want to get a woman to speak for Sunna to avoid any falsetto issues.
- 2. Planning. This is the figuring out of what I need to do for the story to fit a podcast format. Episode length, intro and outro, and so on.
- 3. Hosting. One needs a place to put the audio files for other people to be able to download them.
- 4. Theme music. That fits the podcast. I’ve got a couple of awesome possibilities, but I’m not sure how rights will shake out at this point.
- 5. Artwork. Needs to be eye catching and appropriate. Still on the list.
- 6. E-book formatting. I need a few more self-study sessions before making the first run at this, but I want to have an ebook available when the podcast launches. Toying with the idea of print, too, but it is only a 13,000 words long.
- 7. Production. Broken down into steps by episode, see below.
- 8. Marketing. Not that I plan a huge marketing campaign, but I will be talking about it and posting about it pretty regularly in the weeks before, during, and for a while after it runs.
Steps 1-3 are taken care of. Step 7 is in progress. Step 8 I’m going to suck at, but I can probably blame most of that on everything else going on in my life.
On a production basis, episode by episode, it’s a fairly straightforward process:
- 1. Record. Find a quiet place and talk into a recording device for a while.
- 2. Edit. Test runs have shown me that between long, drawn out pauses and having to repeat things I screw up, what I record will be just a little bit less than twice as long as the final product. All that extra stuff has to come out.
- 3. Voices and Effects. I’m not going to be doing special effects, but I am adjusting some character voices. This will require a little re-recording of certain lines to paste into the reading. There may be a little processing, too so the voices fit how I think things sound in my head. And, like I said earlier, I think it might be beneficial to have an actual woman play the female character. This might get a little more difficult with the next project as it has several significant female characters. And even more so with the novel I have planned where two of the three primaries are women. But I really don’t think I want to get into the whole full cast thing because time commitments go up exponentially.
- 4. Intro and Outro. These need to be recorded once each, probably, and then added to the front and back of each episode.
- 5. Upload. And schedule for timed release. I plan to have the whole thing done. Before Christmas would be nice, and I think quite manageable.
At this moment:
Episode 1-2: Edited
Episodes 3-4: Recorded
Episodes 5-10: Scripted
There will probably be a short blooper real after the fact (I’ve got a couple of good ones already), and potentially a feedback episode, if I get any.
Once Thorvald’s Wyrd is complete, I’m going to breathe a little bit before I start working on my second audio fiction project, slotted to be my 35,000 word novella, Turn the World Around. Like Thorvald’s Wyrd, it also appeared as a serial on my blog and I’m pretty happy with it. (Although a couple of recent news events threaten to make a small piece of it alternate history at any moment.)
The third project will be either an 80k+ word novel or a roughly equivalent in length collection of short fiction. Whichever isn’t the third will be the fourth. After that, we’ll see.
At least, that’s the plan. And Life has flipped around many of my plans in the last few years, which is why I’m not publicly attaching time frames to any of them. Make no mistake though, I have time tables I’d like to hit and they’re probably more aggressive than they should be considering recent experience.
Still, shoot for the stars and you might just make the moon.
Be well, everyone.by