What I learned from recording the audio version of my next book

photo-312I spent the past several days recording the audio version of I Know How She Does It. It was a fun experience. It was also a swift one! We were scheduled to go through Friday, but finished Thursday afternoon. This was great, because it was both the director and the recording engineer’s birthdays (what kind of amazing coincidence was that?) We celebrated with wine and chocolate cake. And then the director got to go home to New York early to celebrate with her family.

I learned some interesting things from reading my book word by word. First, I’ve been saying “adage” wrong for decades. I guess I don’t say it that often, but it’s a word I’ve been reading in my head wrong. Also “detritus.” Whoops. Plus I write phrases like “prima facie” even though I have no idea how to say them.

I also say “probably” and “conversations” wrong (according to the director). The “probably” was just slurred (more like “prolly”). As for conversations, I make it sound like a “z” rather than an “s.”

The director didn’t start correcting me on these until the middle of the recording, so we went back through to re-record all the “probablys.” And wow, I realized I used this word a lot. Using “-ly” words is a bad habit in general so I was a bit embarrassed to see how many times I’d used it in the book.

I also learned that it is hard to say “diary week.” Try it.

My tummy gurgles a lot after I eat. We’d order lunch, and then for the hour of recording after, I’d have to stop every paragraph or two to let things settle. Green apples and hot tea with honey are good for making the human voice sound better. I ate more green apples this week than I have in a year.

Fortunately, after reading the book out loud, word by word, I was still happy with how it turned out. Some of the toughest sections to write have turned out to be some of my favorite parts of the final version. This realization reminds me to have faith in the editing process. And to write shorter sentences. Some of them were real doozies, and since I wrote them, I could only blame myself.

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