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Audiobooks, Writing With Your Voice

Discussion in 'The Authors' Café' started by Dilasc, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. Dilasc

    Dilasc Boip!

    It's a shame. It's a fun way to tell a tale. Oral tradition has been one of homo sapien sapien's greatest achievements over all other human species, and yet, today, the art of vocal storytelling seems so elusive.

    Hokey and completely pointless intro aside, ever since this thread I've been more than obsessed with the idea of reading my stories out loud, and I was hoping others would too.

    Sadly, the concept hasn't caught on, but maybe this time it could become trendy!

    I've even tried it with my latest story. Has anyone else felt the desire, the urge, the ancient throwback to our ancestors?! I tried it here?

    Has anyone else?
  2. Kutie Pie

    Kutie Pie 桜咲くこの坂を今も上っている

    Yeah, I've noticed audiobooks are starting to become somewhat obsolete, though they still do exist, since people are more likely to listen to a book being read while in a car or online than pick one up themselves. Haven't listened to one in ages, though.

    I'd like to do an audiobook with one of my stories one of these days, my friend sometimes brings it up in conversation. I need to find the time and patience and better recording equipment to do it, though. I also would need to decide which of my stories to record, and to decide whether I want to do voice-acting or not XD. I can't always do a manly voice for very long, let alone have a variety of voices on mind (and remember them) for each character. Especially since I know that there would be that one character or two who will need some type of digital editing due to how they speak.

    So we'll see. Since break is coming up, I might do something then.
  3. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine ██████████

    The general decline in audiobooks (as in, not just in fic but all over) is probably because audiobooks aren't the in thing anymore. Thanks to e-books, text is becoming more and more portable, and audiobooks just aren't as necessary as they used to be because you can now have the actual thing. With e-books, you don't have to rewind in case you spaced out and failed to catch a part of the story you missed, you don't have to fast-forward or rewind in order to find a part of a story you want to go back over, and you don't have to wait forever for one e-book file to finish downloading. So, people these days can now basically download e-books and just read.

    As for why fans don't do it, I'd say it's probably because it takes a lot of time and effort. Not everyone's voice is good for voice acting, and not everyone has the patience to do more than one take and to edit things carefully in order to produce a finished product. Then, there's the issue of finding a place to upload your work and waiting for it to finish uploading. Granted, e-books aren't that much more popular in fandom (probably because forums practically are unless you don't have wi-fi), but it does take a lot of effort to not only do an audiobook but also do one right.

    Of course, it's a fun activity. Hey, I'm all for people figuring out new ways to put out fic because it's pretty awesome how creative fandom can get.

    As for myself, I read the prologue to AEM... and then stopped there for two reasons. One, I didn't have time to do much else. Two, you know how I said not everyone's a good voice actor? Yeah, I'm not. I'm also not subjecting any of you poor souls to my idea of Queen's English, much less Queen's English that's supposed to be coming from a guy. And considering the fact that a ton of my work centers around a guy who speaks with a posh British accent, that kinda means I'm screwed unless I bribe my New Zealander friend with lip gloss and my eternal love and respect to read the rest of the fic. Sorry!
  4. jstinftw!

    jstinftw! hontoni

    I actually decided that whenever I start up fanfiction writing again, I was going to make sure to include an audio version as well. There's this one site (forgot the name currently) that lets you upload a fair amount of space for audio, so I'm planning on doing it that way.

    I think it's a very interesting idea, and also allows another venue for your story to be heard. Specifically, I use an iMac, so I can highlight text and click on speak or save to iTunes. Doing so allows me to continue on my business (work out at the gym, due the dishes, do vacuum, PLAY MY GAME) while still being able to read. Having this option available to everyone can make your story much more accessible, as well as help you (as a writer) catch any mistakes you may have made.

    So I am definitely going to be doing this on my current project. :)


    Very valid points. I'll admit, you definitely have to have patience to do this, as well as the ability to view your work from the viewpoint (or hearpoint I guess) of others.

    You also have to make sure you have the right recording material. A crappy mic, or bad recording software (or the lack of requiring expensive recording software) can be a deciding factor.

    I personally run and host a Pokemon podcast, so I have a fair amount of experience with this kind of thing. That's part of the reason why I want to do this, as this can help my diction, my ability to speak clearly. But also, I think it's a fun idea haha.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  5. LizardonX

    LizardonX Banned

    The thing is there's usually much more competition for ear space now. Also when I was little I got all of the harry potter books on casettes and listened to them every night before i slept, it took me like a year to get through all of them.
  6. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me Staff Member Moderator

    Personally, I just have an awful voice and can't pronounce English for the life of me without it sounding like lolwhut, so no, I'm definitely not doing audiobooks of my fics ever. I did a dramatic reading of a couple of passages of my first fanfic once, but for something to be taken seriously? Nope. No chance. And even the dramatic reading was kind of terrible.

    I mean, I would like to if I could choose to produce the actual sounds I'm hearing in my head with my mouth, but unfortunately that's not the case.

    A guy has actually offered to read my fic as an audiobook as an incentive to finish it for NaNoWriMo, although part of me doesn't want the first half of it recorded in such a permanent form anywhere.
  7. ConUxie223

    ConUxie223 Kalos Trap Queen

    Wow, I didnt know that other people had the same idea as me to make a audiobook :/ I was gonna have a audiobook type of thing on Youtube or another stream where me along with other cast members read the recent chapters that I upload on here. I'm most likely gonna have a whole cast instead of just reading every part myself because I think it would be a much more successful method than just one person reading, especially the girl characters because of my deep voice it would be unrealistic to have me play their parts. I was thinking about making my own opening and ending theme for the audiobook so that it could seem more like a television series since thats what I'm trying to go for in the actual story.

    Anyway, I like the idea of audiobooks but its too bad that people are switching over to e-books and other methods instead...
  8. Dilasc

    Dilasc Boip!

    That has actually sort of reminded me of a giant can of wurmples I'm not sure I want to open: reading for others. I'm not (well, not yet,) don't even dare say I will, but it is always a tempting thought.

    In any case, reading aloud is helpful as it make you proofread more than you already do, and if it doesn't sound right, it probably isn't written correctly either.
  9. Dilasc

    Dilasc Boip!

    As a crazy thought entered my mind: a story where at some points, you HAVE to listen. In short, the story would have a link to Youtube where you cannot get part of the story without following the audio recording. It would be used sparingly but mostly to say "let's magnify the drama/comedy/tragedy/everything!"
  10. JX Valentine

    JX Valentine ██████████

    Please don't.

    Here's the problem. You never ever make the bells and whistles (such as sound) mandatory for understanding a fanfiction. Sure, you can have illustrations if you want, but ultimately, you should never have a story rely on alternative media. Why?

    Because what happens if your readers can't access that recording?

    Think about it. There are so many things that could prevent a recording from being opened and heard. Your reader could be in a situation where they can't listen to a recording at the moment. (Libraries, school, in public, you name it.) Your reader could be offline. Your reader could have shoddy internet and would need to wait for minutes just to get the recording. Your video could be taken down at any moment for any of a variety of reasons on YouTube's part (or the part of whoever's hosting the file). YouTube (or the host) could go down while Serebii stays up. There's an entire list to go through, and all of those possibilities are more likely than one would think. (I know I can't listen to recordings after midnight, when I'm most active. I go through headphones like nobody's business too, so no, I can't just get a pair of headphones and listen whenever I want.) If you make a recording mandatory, then your audience could end up missing part of your story because they just can't access that part.

    That's one of two reasons why I thought the whole "link to background music in my fic" fad was incredibly silly, by the way. The other being the music choices the authors would put up were questionable, if you know what I mean. Seriously, if you link me to Linkin Park because you think it fits your scene, I judge you a little.

    But anyway, yeah. You should never ever make a video or audio bell or whistle mandatory for enjoying your fic. You can make it optional (which would be perfectly cool and a fun idea), but if we can't get your story without having to sit through an audio recording that we may or may not be able to download anyway, that's just not a good thing. You don't want to frustrate your readers, but that's exactly what you could end up doing if you put part of your story beyond their reach because you want to force a perk on them (at the risk of putting it overly bluntly).
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013
  11. SeekerofLight

    SeekerofLight He's everywhere...

    The only thing is, you'll have to have some form of internet site account to link in with your posts. Perhaps a YouTube channel dedicated to audiobooks...

    Heyyyyy, maybe that's what Serebii needs! A channel run by a forum member who you can send audio files to and they turn upload it as a video which you can link in with posts.

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