tinypinkmouse: (Default)
tinypinkmouse ([personal profile] tinypinkmouse) wrote in [community profile] podficmeta2012-04-06 11:04 pm

Cold reading

I've been following other people doing [livejournal.com profile] podfic_bingo and noticed that there was a square for "read a fic cold". So I started wondering; is that something people don't usually do?

I'll admit to the fact that the majority of my podfics are read cold. There's a very simple reason for that, I very rarely re-read stories, and if I do, it's usually when it's been long enough since I first read it that I don't really remember it anymore (this is also the reason why I almost never listen to podfic of fic I've previously read). Mostly because it's very hard to concentrate on a story I'm already familiar with, my attention starts wandering. I love podficcing, but even for that it's an effort to read something a second time. So if there's blanket permission and the fic seems like something I want to read, I'll record it. That does mean that if it turns out I don't like the fic after all, I'll drop the whole thing however far I've gotten (which is to say that even if I read cold, if I podficced your story, I liked your story).

So, I'm curious, how do others feel about recording something cold?
croissantkatie: (podfic love)

[personal profile] croissantkatie 2012-04-06 09:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I tend to have read something at least once before I podfic it and sometimes I read it again in preparation. The closest I've got to recording cold is when I got about a paragraph in, decided I wanted to record it so did. That's the exception though. I also like knowing where the story is going so I can adjust my reading is necessary. But then again, I'm the kind of person who reads and rereads over and over.

I've been interested in trying to pod something cold though, because it might turn out completely different but then again it might not.
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)

[personal profile] qem_chibati 2012-04-06 09:40 pm (UTC)(link)
I always read warm, but I'm very particular with the ones I do, I pick ones that I think would. E fun to read, are usually very short and that spark something in my head. I have a stutter if put on the spot sometimes so I usually really need to know how the story flow is going to go.
anatsuno: a white woman presses earphones to ber breasts (podfic!)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2012-04-06 10:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I record cold sometimes; most often though what happens is that I record cold-ish: something I've already read a while ago and put on my list of fics to record, but that I start recording without rereading in advance.

I often tend to feel guilty of being a sloppy podficcer when I read people's process and it includes rereading the story several times before, marking it up for mood, dialogue tags, etc. But my guilty feeling is just me being neurotic, I guess; to each their own and all processes are fine. Clearly recording cold or cold-ish works out fine for some people, like you and I. :D
Edited (clarification) 2012-04-06 22:05 (UTC)
juice: (Default)

[personal profile] juice 2012-04-07 12:14 am (UTC)(link)
This is me as well - the only ones I've ever actually recorded completely cold are charity wins. The stories I personally choose to do are ones I have read and enjoyed in the past, but I don't reread before recording them.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)

[personal profile] luzula 2012-04-07 03:16 am (UTC)(link)
most often though what happens is that I record cold-ish: something I've already read a while ago and put on my list of fics to record, but that I start recording without rereading in advance.

Yeah, this is exactly what I do as well. I've never recorded something completely cold, though.
anatsuno: a white woman presses earphones to ber breasts (podfic!)

[personal profile] anatsuno 2012-04-09 01:52 am (UTC)(link)
I have! Notably, for me, I recorded what is I think my longest podfic ever, magical number seven (6h14mn), cold-for-real. I did it for two reasons - no, at least three that I can remember:
* I was running out of time and there was a challenge deadline
* I was slightly afraid it was going to affect me emotionally in a way I wouldn't want to re-experience right away (so that I thought, what I if I read it and weep and then I can't cope with having to re-read/record it right away? omg no)
* I thought my foreign-ness to the text would serve the text, because it's essentially the story of an amnesiac, who is a stranger to everything around him and to himself (I knew this before going in because I'd talked about it with the author & read the beginning of early drafts months before). To this day I still believe the emotional tone of the story has been better served by my cold-reading than I would've managed had I known the tale in advance. :))

Sorry for babbling so much at you! But I was filing my comments notifs and suddenly this memory popped into my head. :))
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)

[personal profile] luzula 2012-04-10 02:54 am (UTC)(link)
No apologies needed; it was interesting. : )

I thought my foreign-ness to the text would serve the text

Huh, I've never thought of that possibility. Now I want to try cold reading--I'll have to do it some time.
greedy_dancer: Close-up of Nick Grimshaw's face (Default)

[personal profile] greedy_dancer 2012-04-06 10:11 pm (UTC)(link)
Interesting question! I have that square on my bingo too, and realized how hard it was. I don't think I've ever read totally cold. My usual process is to read a story, love it for some reason, decide I want to record. Or maybe, remember a story I loved and decide to record. Then I re-read or I don't, but I've always read the fic at least once before I start recording.

I honestly don't know if I would be able to truly record cold, because when I record I don't feel like I'm reading? I'm focused on so many other things, sometimes I don't even realize what I'm saying, I'm too busy thinking about how to say it! lol
bessyboo: (default, blonde version) (Default)

[personal profile] bessyboo 2012-04-06 10:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Woh, this is really interesting, because it's totally opposite of what I do! I go into a podfic having read a story at LEAST once--often more--and I've nearly always at least SKIMMED it a second time at the very least.

Then, I record the whole thing, which is another reading, and then I probs listen to it at LEAST 2 more times in editing! So when it's all said in done, I've probably read/listened to most of the podfics I've recorded MINIMUM 4 times. I often describe it as such a labor of love, I can't imagine doing it for a story I DIDN'T love.

However, I've always been a re-reader; when I was little I would read my favorite books OVER AND OVER AND OVER again, sometimes back to back, and read nothing new for WEEKS. I have a very high tolerance for repetition of things I like throughout many areas of my life, so for me, this isn't anything new.
aethel: (books [by morebutterflys])

[personal profile] aethel 2012-04-07 01:03 pm (UTC)(link)
I absolutely did this as a child, and probably still would be doing this if I had more time! Since my dead-tree-book time is limited, I feel guilty if I'm not reading something new. I reread fic instead. :P
lian: Klavier Gavin, golden boy (Default)

[personal profile] lian 2012-04-06 10:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Can't -- I don't always know how the words are pronounced in sequence, so I need to practice.
fleurrochard: A black and white picture of a little girl playing air-guitar and singing (Default)

[personal profile] fleurrochard 2012-04-06 11:01 pm (UTC)(link)
This. I always reread once before I actually record and check pronounciations (and usually write them down).
erica_schall: (Default)

[personal profile] erica_schall 2012-04-07 02:46 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, same here. I guess that is the fate of people recording in a language that isn’t their mother tongue :) In fact, I have a whole notebook full of vocabulary that I had to check for pronunciation and/or meaning for fanfics that I have recorded. I find it very hard to stay objective though when it comes to pronunciation. Sometimes I have read a word so many times in the past that I have assigned a pronunciation to it in my head – then, one day I hear somebody pronounce it completely different and go *headdesk*

I don’t mind reading something over and over again, though. I usually only podfic something that I have come back to several times for re-reading already.
fleurrochard: A black and white picture of a little girl playing air-guitar and singing (Default)

[personal profile] fleurrochard 2012-04-07 02:58 pm (UTC)(link)
Sometimes I have read a word so many times in the past that I have assigned a pronunciation to it in my head – then, one day I hear somebody pronounce it completely different and go *headdesk*

OMG, yes, I know that. *facepalm*

I'm a rereader anyway, so yes, I usually podfic stories I've reread before. (Sometimes I spontaneously fall completely in love during my first reading, but usually I pofic reread stories.)

ETA: Ah, you're also a German podficcer! :D
Edited 2012-04-07 14:59 (UTC)
argentumlupine: headset mic. Text: Podfic Forever (Podfic forever)

[personal profile] argentumlupine 2012-04-06 11:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm a re-reader from waaaaaaay back. There are books (and fics) I've read upwards of 20 times. Generally I record stories I've read at least 2-3 times, although I have decided I AM RECORDING THIS partway through a fic. :) (But I still read it all the way through at least once before recording.)

I read warm. I generally go through the text and mark it up before I start recording. (Color-coding dialogue so I don't mess up my character voices, putting emphasis marks in, adding spaces where I think I'll need an extra breath, etc.)

Reading a fic cold would be difficult for me. I'm impressed by people who can do it. (And I'm glad it's not one of my bingo squares!)
pandarus: (Default)

[personal profile] pandarus 2012-04-07 02:40 am (UTC)(link)
Yep, I read 'em cold. Or at least - in most cases I have already read the story in order to fall in love with it and decide it needs to be podficced (although on occasion I've started podficcing during the first ever read-throu because the story is Just That Good and I want the pleasure of reading it aloud). But I don't do any practicey warm uppy decide-how-to-do-it stuff, I just go with what seems appropriate.
pandarus: (Default)

[personal profile] pandarus 2012-04-07 02:47 am (UTC)(link)
Ah, okay, reading other people's comments I guess I DON'T read cold, mostly. But...how do you know you will love something (not just like it) until you've read it? Or - I guess we're coming at it from different places? Because there are lots of stories I enjoy reading but don't feel an impulse to podfic, and I read CONSTANTLY, so...and also I tend to prefer reading and recording fairly long works, so it's a time commitment I only make if something's swept me off my feet. Um.
susan_voight: lantern against blue sky and tree branches (Default)

[personal profile] susan_voight 2012-04-07 03:11 pm (UTC)(link)
For me, whether long or short, I have so little time to record that I have to do everything I can to make good use of it (I managed a whole 15 minutes this week. Total. As I am about halfway through my longest podfic ever, probably about 6 hours in the end, this was rather dispiriting). So I always record things I really want to, and mark up dialogue descriptions so I don't have to re-record for tone (as much), and look up pronunications ahead of time . . .

If I had more recording time, though, I'm still not sure I would record absolutely cold, because sometimes I need to know the way a story is going for the proper pacing and tone. A bit of a control freak, me. But people's differing processes are so interesting to hear about!
susan_voight: lantern against blue sky and tree branches (Default)

[personal profile] susan_voight 2012-04-07 03:51 pm (UTC)(link)
Recording time. I have plenty of time to read and mark up text, it's quiet time in front of a mic that is vanishingly rare. So I try to arrange things so that the recording time is as productive as possible.
aethel: (luna reads)

[personal profile] aethel 2012-04-07 12:57 pm (UTC)(link)
fascinating question!

By the time I podfic something, I've read it at least once, usually more than once. In fact, right before I podfic something, I try to read it out loud first for practice, unless it's hours and hours long. Though, weirdly, recording it twice seems to work better than reading it aloud to myself when I know there's no mic to record all my mistakes. Not that I'm a fan of re-doing a whole podfic from scratch, but sometimes I end up re-recording so many sections that I may as well have started over.
lunchee: zoom of what I actually look like. Forreal. (Default)

[personal profile] lunchee 2012-04-10 07:18 am (UTC)(link)
I'm late to the party and I've written you an unnecessarily long essay, but here are my two cents:

To me, 'reading cold' is to go ahead and podfic the story without having read it recently, so that the specific sequence of events will be new and fresh and surprising. This is my usual M.O. when it comes to podficcing; the only exception being charity stuff, which I will read before podficcing immediately to get an idea of the story that I am reading for someone. These tend to be my sloppier podfics, because there is no true emotional response from me comparative to the stories I choose to podfic.

I have to say that I require so much response from myself before making a podfic that it is pretty much unfathomable to go in and record a story that I don't know at all. I know I don't (or at least I think I don't) have the same way of reading drama as I do humour, or sarcasm, or happiness, so to convey the mood for the story I want to convey starts mentally first of all, and that requires me to have at least read the story through once.

Like you, I am not a re-reader. I hardly ever revisit stories (unless there is a drought in fic in the fandom I want to read at the time, though this rarely occurs), and so I make podfic according to how I myself consume it: to get through as much information as possible on the first (and likely, only) pass. I don't buy into letting the words speak for themselves - if it was heart-breaking for me, I want it to be heartbreaking for you; if it was hilarious for me, I want you to laugh too; if I thought the sex scene was hot, even though I am dying of mortification at the time of recording, I want to make you aware this scene in particular is really, incredibly sexy. So then comes how I must play with the words so that this comes through to you. What other reason could there be to make and share podfic?

Reading 'cold' ensures the best way for me to get that across. Planning works for some, but for me the product of planning is a disingenuous performance; I've thought too much about it, I've practiced saying this so much it no longer sounds like words, it no longer has any feeling that I wanted it to have. I hate finding that I have made mistakes, because that means that I have to try and reduplicate the line reading again, which is incredibly difficult for me in terms of getting in that emotional space again.

Having said that, none of my recordings are genuinely cold or coldish. There are always spots that I have to re-record and re-record because I'm trying to force the nuance across and it just will not come. And at other times, because the story is a living, breathing thing that reveals itself to me as I am conveying it, I will realise that there is intent in this particular scene that was referred to earlier, or the character voice is all wrong, what this person is saying and how I am saying it suddenly goes out of sync, and I have to reanalyse what I thought was going on and go back and re-record. For instance, the FF7 time travel fic I read for you during BB a couple of years ago, I only really 'got' Genesis' voice after I think, three hours, so I went back and re-did all his dialogue up until that point (this was later rendered moot, because I then had fit and re-recorded the entire first six hours of that podfic, but whatever, moving on).

So then, because I know these problems will crop up again and again, should I have taken the time to go through the story thoroughly beforehand and saved myself the time? The answer for me at least, is still no. Like you, too much re-reading does me no good - scenes that I remember being fun suddenly lose their lustre, scenes I wasn't particularly fond of plod on forever. I start doubting the reasons why I wanted to podfic the story in the first place. This line of reasoning leads me to abandon projects, leaving them for perhaps months, or longer until I think, 'didn't I do a lot of work on that one pod? Maybe I should go back to it...' As you can imagine, I have quite a few of these lolling about on my hard drive!

But like others have said, there are no wrong methods. The way that works best for you is always going to make the resulting podfic fantastic! And it is always interesting to see how everyone differs in their process.