I’ve now logged a hundred hours and twenty minutes on the audio work for Cowry Catchers 5. I’ve never tracked my time on one of these projects before, but I definitely have a sense of how the work flows, and this is the point where I finally begin to feel as though I’m making progress and things typically start to speed up.
Until this point, I work and work and it just feels like I’m spinning my wheels. Nothing is done. Nothing is even halfway. A hundred hours in, I begin to finish some things and other things hit the halfway point.
Right now, I’m done recording the narration, and I am a little over halfway finished with my first pass through the voice track. On the first pass, I edit all of my own narration, plus all the voice actors whom I can possibly induce to send in their lines. I make one more pass through the voice track to insert retakes and prodigal voice actors, but the first pass is the most labor intensive. It’s the most labor intensive portion of the entire production.
Here’s how the time breaks down. Again, this is for a 70,000-word novel, which will be approximately 7 hours in audio when it’s finished.
21:12:00 - Recording
25:53:00 - Marking lines/ Corresponding with Voice Actors
53:15:00 - Voice Track
Those first two categories are mostly done, whereas the time spent on the voice track will probably double before it's finished. One might reasonably ask why a 7-hour book takes 21 hours to record. Answer: There was about an hour lost to faulty equipment (files scrambled), and I spent maybe twenty minutes on the intro + a few retakes. The rest was just business as usual. I record each sentence 2-3 times and use the best take. Occasionally, I record a sentence a lot more than 3 times when I'm trying to get it just right. So, the raw recording is about three times as long as the finished product.
In real life, I've been at a big anesthesia assignment in Oregon for the last four months. Now I'm done until next year, so I'm a mostly a fulltime author for the next two months. If my voice actors will send me the rest of their lines, I'll be able to really speed up production on this audio book. :)