Vacation is a Love Story set partially in the Cotswolds, the walking capital of England, where the lovers meet. In this preview clip, we find all the main characters who appear in the walking tour part of the story. Two extremely attractive and cultured French women (mother and daughter), a gay couple from North Carolina, an older couple from Australia, Annie from Vashon Island, Washington, William, our hero, and their bumbling tour guide. Listen as they deal with a “wee” change in itinerary.
“The Obsession Love Story concerns physical Desire. This is the first level of love,thinking someone is cute and wanting to possess them.…” – Shawn Coyne, What Are Love Stories For?
In Part 3 of his 6 part guest post series on stevenpressfield.com, Shawn Coyne breaks down the Love Story genre into its three sub-genres, Obsession, Courtship, and Marriage. He introduces the qualities that define each sub-genre and also presents a convincing discussion of the role Love Stories play in our lives. “Love stories give us prescriptive (positive) and cautionary (negative) tales to navigate love’s emotional minefield. They give us tools to try out and behaviors to avoid.”
Shawn covers all of this in greater detail, as well as the breakdown of the other literary genres, in his book, The Story Grid. Written primarily for editors and based on his twenty-five year career in publishing, The Story Grid is also a valuable resource for both aspiring and established writers. In it he approaches the global concept of Story through deconstruction of genre based on Content, Structure, Time, Reality, and Style. Love Story is, of course, one of those genres. I use The Story Grid‘s concepts to analyze Stories that I’m preparing to narrate and produce as audiobooks.
My current production is Vacation by JC Miller. A Courtship Love Story set partially in the Cotswolds, the walking capital of England, where the lovers meet. In this preview clip, we find all the main characters who appear in the walking tour part of the story. Two extremely attractive and cultured French women, a gay couple from North Carolina, an older couple from Australia, Annie from Vashon Island, Washington, William, our hero, and their bumbling tour guide, all deal with a “wee” change in itinerary.
Vacation is set for a summer 2017 release.
Why Love Rules By Shawn Coyne
What I Mean by Love Story By Shawn Coyne
What Are Love Stories For? By Shawn Coyne
Love Story Cheat Sheet / Controlling Idea By Shawn Coyne
Love Story Cheat Sheet / Obligatory Scenes By Shawn Coyne
Love Story Cheat Sheet / Conventions By Shawn Coyne
This clip is the beginning point of the story’s build, just following the inciting incident where William, our hero, the geeky and overworked head of the Pathology Department at Seattle’s Northwest Hospital, goes against his nature and agrees to take his first vacation in a decade.
In this scene he arrives at the airport the morning of his flight to England on his way to a walking tour of the Cotswolds, the walking capital of England. Verdant hills, country gardens, meandering streams, and honey-colored stone villages await him. Not to mention romance. Hope you enjoy it.
Vacation is set for a summer 2017 release.
“In Chretien’s popular story, Lancelot, The Knight of the Cart, the pivotal love story notion of a “proof of love” comes to the fore. And that proof of love element proved so cathartic for his audience that it became the must-have for every love story that followed…” – Shawn Coyne, What I Mean by Love Story
In Part 2 of his 6 part guest post series on stevenpressfield.com, Shawn Coyne looks back to the 12th century and the original Arthurian literary innovation as the genesis of the obligatory “proof of love” scene in any Love Story.
As an audiobook producer/narrator I’ve begun utilizing the concepts in Shawn’s book, The Story Grid, to analyze the novels I narrate before recording them. My first application of this method is in production now. As I post this article, I’ve just completed recording Chapter 4 of Vacation by JC Miller. So yes, it’s very early to be evaluating the effectiveness of my new pre-production approach. Will it make a difference in the finished product? Will it enhance the listener’s engagement and enjoyment of the Story?
So far, I’m finding that, because I have an intimate relationship with the Story as a result of my analysis, I am much more confident in my interpretation and delivery.
For example, knowing that I’m in the “inciting incident” scene evokes a sense of drama appropriate for the event that makes the story start. It affects my oral dynamics, tone, pace, inflection, intensity. I know it’s an obligatory scene for the genre and I know specifically how that obligatory scene serves the Story. So my focus is on ensuring that the scene functions as such and serves the Story in that critical capacity. My goal is for the Story to enthrall the listener so that time is suspended as the Story fires the imagination.
Vacation is set for a summer 2017 release. Here is a preview clip from a scene shortly following the inciting incident, where William, our protagonist, worn down by grief and loneliness, has made his first mistake ever in the lab, and co-workers convince him to take his first vacation in 10 years.
I will continue posting short clips as I move through production.
This week I began audiobook production for Vacation [Sneak Preview], JC Miller’s charming “tale of love and loss and real friendship, artfully told. JC Miller is keenly observant not of the sensational but of the quotidian, the fleeting thoughts and sensations that overtake us when we think we’re strolling in a meadow or preparing a meal; the subtle inflections of the heart as it speaks to us. You will know her characters intimately and you can’t help but feel with them.” – Daniel Coshnear, author of Occupy & Other Love Stories, winner of the 2000 Willa Cather Fiction Prize
Set in the gentle hills and stone villages of the Cotswolds of England and in the atmospheric Pacific Northwest, a vacation walking tour of pastoral England sparks an attraction between an introverted scientist and a wounded and independent history professor.
Vacation is set for a Summer 2017 release. Listen to a Free Preview Clip from this week’s recording session.
Hello everyone. I’m Curt Simmons, narrator of Stephen Whitfield’s romantic desert adventure, Omari And The People. Kristin has asked me to give a little lesson on audiobook production/recording and I’m honored to do so.
I have been self-producing audiobooks for about two years now, so I’m relatively new to the industry and still have a lot to learn, but I think I’m doing okay so far. My overall sense is that the majority of self-producers like me get their audiobook production/narration training via ACX, Amazon’s Audiobook Creation Exchange. I’ve also worked in radio and TV and as an actor in Theatre. That helps too. more […]
What is the most difficult thing about narrating and producing audiobooks in your own home studio?
I am by no means a self-production expert, or any kind of audio production expert for that matter. I know just enough to sound as close to professional industry standards as I can with my equipment, my recording space, my signal processing, and whatever storytelling and acting skill I may possess. I couldn’t audio engineer my way out of a wet paper bag in a big studio. Now, two years into a serious effort to make audiobook narration my profession, achieving the ultimate goal of making audiobooks that evoke a compelling and satisfying storytelling experience for the listener is the primary and never-ending challenge. It’s a long road, but for people like me whose brain works a certain way, it’s at the very least fun and interesting. At best it satisfies my need to create in a big way.
I was a Radio-TV major in the mid-seventies and then I got my masters degree in directing for the theatre. I also started acting in stage plays my junior year as an undergrad. So I have at least a conceptual reminiscence of audio production, acting, and directing. I grew up splicing magnetic tape, ripping and reading news copy from the wire, producing and hosting live and pre-recorded radio, and envisioning, guiding, and being guided in the creation of theatre, the kind with a live audience. Throw into the mix a more recent and much longer career managing projects and it feels like audiobooks might be a good fit. Right?
One of the most satisfying things about self-producing audiobooks at home is having total control over literally every aspect of the effort to create an orally delivered work of literature that fulfills the promise of the story as only the spoken word can. While at the same time, one of the most difficult things about self-producing audiobooks at home is having total control over literally every aspect of the effort to create an orally delivered work of literature that fulfills the promise of the story as only the spoken word can. I am producer, director, audio engineer, and talent. This is not as easy as it sounds.
What do my directing brain and my technical brain do while I’m in front of the microphone attempting to reach my full potential as a storyteller? Do these two brains monitor the performance in real time, guiding and shaping theatre of the mind on a separate track as my storytelling brain delivers the best story it knows how? Or do the director and technician somehow take a break or at least objectively observe and simply wait for the storyteller to finish? So far, I’ve found the more aware I am of the director and technician in me while I’m speaking into the mic, the worse the performance. For me, this is the most difficult aspect at the moment.
When I go back and listen to my first audiobook, I am truly embarrassed. I have to think of that production and narration as my audiobook boot camp. In truth, I very nearly bit off more than I could chew as I reacquainted myself to mic technique and taught myself waveform editing, signal processing, and mastering on the job and on current technology platforms. The narration alone was a significant challenge with over fifteen characters, including teenage boys and girls, as well as four languages in addition to English, and three distinct European accents. What was I thinking? Add in my beginner level and slowly developing processing and mastering skills and the experience of completing my first audiobook nearly killed me. Well, not really, but it was very, very difficult. However, I learned a lot. As a result, my next project was a bit easier, as each successive one has been since.
At the same time, I become increasingly more aware that I still have more work to do to meet my own standards. I know I get better with each book, but I do have high standards where listening to someone tell a story for ten or twelve hours is concerned. So, I will continue to have more work to do as the most difficult thing about self-producing at home changes over time. And that’s a good thing. It means I’m making progress.