Going into the Closet
I’m recording my latest novel. Finding the voice work a splendid creative challenge. This is a sprawling complex large cast of characters I’m trying to bring to life. I’ve found the voice of the oil patch baron from Oklahoma City. His voice is not complete, he needs a few more colorings and he’s set.
The narrative passages are straightforward. Where there are challenges has to do with the ambitious vocabulary that I’ve written into the manuscript. My written vocabulary is larger, more muscular, and as it turns out more challenging to read aloud.
Here is a short list of the most important female characters. Circus arts instructor, youthful ambitious political activist, Canadian wine advertising executive, corporate lawyer, vixen roommate, another much younger circus arts student roommate.
Males includes a lieutenant from the local fire department, a rogue deputy sheriff, the sheriff, a pair of 22-year-old man-boy’s, one from a wealthy family the other shy but a physically gifted athlete. There is a motorcycle racing champion, and of course this oil baron.
Technique at the microphone requires careful planning. I prefer to stand than sit, clothes that make no sound help as I like to wave my arms and animate my body as I bring the script to life. I won’t attempt to explain all the challenges and choices to do with setting levels as they are many and I have yet to decide what I like most or least.
All those fancy long sentences I penned are not so willing to be recited aloud without having a good gulp of air before you run off and start the first word while trying to make it to the last.
I’m recording in a closet for acoustical reasons. Fan motors, refrigerators, hallway foot traffic, street noise, birds, unexpected computer chimes and cellphones going off all need to be considered. Patience and persistence are requisite traits of character for this endeavor.
I’ve recorded the first two short chapters. Hah! I thought they were short. I estimate the first third of the novel will span somewhere near three hours. I’ve nearly one hour complete though I’ll have to return (I am sure) and rerecord the initial chapters as the characters voices undoubtably will evolve as I dial them in.
I’m a half breed, part performer and part writer, recording the novel joins my talents dead center at the confluence of my creative life. Having spent decades speaking aloud while performing proves to be helpful but be warned that a sensitive microphone will be the cause of much hell on the path to enunciation’s exacting demands.
Still, here it is, making it up as you go along. In due course I’ll have this novel recorded. We’ll see what audience this journey may find. For now, the creative challenge is the reward. That’s all to my benefit and pleasure. Hope is my zeal for this tale may rub off on others.