So when I first started serializing Pay Me, Bug! one thing I knew I wanted to do was to provide a podcast of each chapter shortly after the chapter went up. I continued that with The Points Between, and started to do it for Curveball but I held off because at the same time I started Curveball I discovered Podiobooks.com and I wanted to get my podcasts into a format where they could be published there, and it's taken some time to get that right.
My first podcasts were, well, not good. They weren't ridiculously horrible, but they were obviously amateurish in a slightly uncomfortable way. They've improved. They're still not stellar, but I'm a lot more comfortable reading fiction into a microphone and the overall quality of the recording has improved.
Last night I learned something new--more accurately, I rediscovered something I should have remembered from my theatre days, but didn't. And that something is very simple: when you're narrating, record standing up.
The reasons are pretty simple: diction and breath control. Standing up gives you the greatest breath control, and you'll be astounded how easy it is run out of breath in what looks like a short sentence. It also helps you project, and while volume isn't really important when you're speaking into a microphone, diction is, and "projecting" forces you to speak more clearly. As I've been going through my podcasts I find that the faster I speak, the harder it is to pronounce words correctly... so I would force myself to slow down, and sometimes that worked well, and sometimes it would kill the momentum in a story. Last night when I recorded standing up I found that I could project a little--I wasn't shouting, or projecting like I was on stage, but my voice was noticeably stronger without feeling forced, and my words were clearer (still need to work on that though) and I could go faster when necessary.
It's amazing how much more control I had over my speech when I was standing up.
The last thing about it, and this may just be relevant to me, but when I was standing up reading the chapter it felt more like I was performing, and because of that it was a lot easier to slip into the performance aspect of it.
I think it'll be a loooooong while before people are clamoring for me to narrate their books for Audible but I'm pretty self-critical when it comes to my podcast performances and I have to say that the simple act of standing up improved last night's recording by leaps and bounds. If I were in a situation where I was on a podcast where I was just talking about stuff, I'd probably do it sitting down, because that's a more conversational situation--it's not that it's not a performance, but it's a much less formal performance, and the audience is expecting more of the natural rhythms and verbal trips that accompany regular day-to-day speech. But I think from now on I'll be recording all my fiction podcasts standing.