Last night was another new experience. The Creative Hub writing group I belong to went to Depot Artspace in Devonport to use their studio to record extracts of our work in progress.
It took me several days just to decide on the extract. A short piece that was complete in itself. Not too much dialogue, as I can’t do different voices, or accents. Not too far into the manuscript or I’d need a long explanation on what had gone before. That was Ordinary Day out the window. Eventually I decided on the opening sections of the novel I started early this year, which is in first draft and about two thirds complete.
Then followed rehearsals at home to make sure I could read it without stuffing up (and also that it wasn’t too long – 7 minutes maximum). My way of writing is to finish the novel before doing any editing. So this work hadn't been edited at all.
Ironically reading aloud is part of my editing process. You find the missed words your brain kindly inserts for you when reading silently, the word repeated several times in a paragraph, or the tongue twister phrase. Some of the culling I did will remain for the next draft, some was just to make the reading easier.
It was a great experience, though nerve wracking beforehand. I dread to think how anxious I’d be for an interview on live radio, knowing this reading could be edited if I stuffed up helped enormously. Ten of us crowded into the small control room, plus Emma in charge of the controls, to watch as each of us had our turn in the hot seat.
As with many things, it was a great experience once it was over. But once it was over I wished I could do it again, because naturally it would be so much better the second time!
Depot Artspace is a great place with some beautiful artwork – see a photo of the main gallery here. It will be a week or so before our work is on the website, but I’ll include the link on this blog.