Today I have a special bit of funny for you all. Mary Robinette Kowal, who narrated CELEBROMANCY, snuck out of the recording studio with a blooper reel from the sessions, and has provided that reel for me to share with you all.
My favorite bit? “Patently paternal…that’s just mean.” And it was. Not intentionally mean, but funny nonetheless. Despite my failings in producing (just a few) audio clunkers like that line, Mary did a fantastic job on the audiobook, and I recommend it as a great way of engaging with the story.
What these bloopers remind me of is how important it is to bring in your ear when doing revisions. Since I can now ambitiously assume that I’ll either sell audio rights or want to exploit them myself on all of my major works, I think it’s especially important to consider the aurality when doing revision. Sometimes, I don’t do enough, as we can hear from the bloopers, but I’ve tried to incorporate a read-aloud stage to my revisions whenever possible.
On the one hand, having bloopers is funny, but on the other hand, I’d rather have narrators who love performing my work extra because I manage to avoid such aurally preposterous phrases.
Sometimes, a line that plays really well in text will cause a headache for an audio narrator, and you have to choose which audience you’re primarily serving, or figure out if there’s a way to re-phrase or re-approach that works both ways. It’s a balance I’m still working on, and will beg forgiveness from my audio narrators in the meantime while I try to figure things out.