I struggled a bit with the reading. It felt very strange talking into a microphone, and I made the mistake of trying to do it all in one take. I found I could read for about four or five minutes before stumbling over a word or messing up something simple like turning a page. After a bit of trial and error, I found a way of stitching together separate 'takes', meaning I didn't have the pressure of having to get it right from beginning to end. Eventually I had four sections that I was happy with. I spliced them together, produced a couple of very simple slides to act as a rolling background for the story, and uploaded it to YouTube.
It got rejected - my 2000-word story took around fifteen and a half minutes to read, and YouTube has a maximum limit of 15 minutes for new members (I signed up specifically to upload the clip). So I then had to go through and re-edit, chopping off the introduction I'd done at the beginning and cutting down as many of the pauses as I could get away with. It's not worked perfectly, I thought I'd judged the pauses pretty well in the original version, so the edit sounds a little rushed in places. If I'd had longer to play around with this, I think I'd have edited the story down and done another reading, but I didn't have a lot of time to play with, and I wanted to get it uploaded while it was still relevant - i.e. in the build-up to Christmas.
For a first attempt, I don't think it's too bad. I've learned a lot, and if the story gets a good response, I'll certainly have another go with a different story. I'll try to get a better set of visuals to go with it, too.
I wrote Evergreen in December 2009, too late to submit anywhere in time for that Christmas. The following year I sent it to Linda Lewis's 'Catherine Howard' Winter Competition, and it picked up third place, yet remained unpublished. So I was planning to see if I could find a home for it in time for Christmas 2011. However, when I was putting together the stories for Somewhere to Start From back in May this year, I decided that I'd like to include it, thus limiting my chances of getting it published anywhere else.
Anyway, enough preamble - check the story out HERE.
Or, now that I've realised I can just embed it, listen to it here:
I'd love to know what people thought - did you enjoy it? Or should I keep my mouth shut in future?