Tuesday, April 19, 2016

John Wants An Audio Book

I posted on facebook this afternoon that the proof copy of a new novel had arrived and I was anxious to tackle it with my trusty blue pen. My friend, John, who is the little boy I babysat when I was a teenager, commented that he wanted an audio book...with me as the narrator.

That would have DISASTER written all over it and here's why-

As the author, I am privy to all the background info of all my characters. They all have back stories. In narrating any of my novels I would be digressing constantly to explain the character's deeper motivation, why they behaved the way they did, what had happened in their past to make and mold them into the person they are in this present moment, and then I might be relating alternate paths the characters might have taken and the results...

I am like Holden Caulfield- always digressing. It's amazing to me that I ever get any book completed.
An example of this is sitting in my dining room in a green binder. Last year's NaNo novel is the culmination of ten or eleven digressions, or rather short stories and novelettes featuring the main characters. They had a story to tell but they themselves weren't exactly sure of what that story was. They knew they belonged together. They knew some bad things would happen. Lissa was badly injured in a biking accident in several of the stories before the person who was causing her injury was revealed in another. Remy was rougher, cruder but he evolved. I let their voices tell these stories even though I knew it wasn't working the way it was supposed to. I filled a binder with digressions before sitting down and pounding out a 130,000-plus word novel in which Lissa and Remy's story was finally told the way it was meant to be told.

If I narrated Life Skills I would go off on a tangent and talk about Life Skills class in high school where they were paired as a pretend couple- how frustrated she was with him, how annoyed he was by the whole class when he was already using real life skills to cope with his adult life while she was still a teenaged high school senior pretending to be his wife in class. They fought like cats and dogs. They spent a lot of time on the beach. Her friends really couldn't stand him, but he was always there on the fringe of Lissa's life, watching her and waiting for her to grow up. The novel touches on this and I would be tempted to bring it up...so...

Great idea, John, audio books so you could listen to my stories while you're driving, but seriously, the narrator would have t be anyone else but me. I'm too involved with these characters. I know too much about them. Let's leave the narration to a stranger who doesn't know all the stuff I know about the characters and let it go at that.

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