“The Editing Process – a sample” as told by Bob Eccles
1) Where do your ideas for horror stories come from?
Most come from everyday life. I’ve gotten story ideas standing in the checkout line at the supermarket, returning bottles for deposits, getting money out of the ATM, seeing makeshift memorials along the roadside, even playing golf.
2) What do you do when you have an idea for a horror story in the middle of dinner or a meeting? Do your family/friends/acquaintances understand when you disrupt their lives so you can write?
When I get an idea, I generally jot some notes down on a piece of paper to work on later. I don’t think I’ve ever had to drop whatever I was doing and WRITE A STORY NOW, although since many of my stories are very short, I can sometimes crank ‘em out in a few minutes, and edit them later.
3) Which of your stories is your favorite?
Tough call, but I think my favorite is one I’m trying to find a home for as we speak. It’s called “The Stone Baby”, and it’s about a woman’s descent into madness, and her husband’s attempt to pull her back from the abyss. It’s one of those stories I got the idea for from an everyday event. I heard a news story about a woman who had carried a so-called “stone baby” for something like 60 years.
4) Moving on to narrating stories, I tried recording a couple of stories, and it was hard work (plus I didn’t like the end results). How do you prepare yourself?
I really don’t do a whole lot to get ready, other than set up my equipment and get comfortable. I usually record stories sitting on my bed, reading the story off my laptop computer and holding my digital recorder.
5) Have you always had an awesome narrating voice? Or is it something you had to train to get it right? And does your speaking voice sound like your narrating voice?
Well, thanks, first of all! My wife says I have a “regular voice” and a “radio voice”. Having been in the radio business for a number of years I guess my voice has developed over time. But I think my “narration voice” is maybe somewhere in between my “normal” and “radio” voices. The pacing and the tone is a bit different, I think.
6) How do you compare your radio station on-air editing to the editing you do for stories?
There are definite similarities. The editing process is pretty much the same. I use a different program to edit stories I’ve narrated than I use on the job, but they’re pretty similar. Of course when I screw up on the air, I can’t go back and edit out the goof-up. After narrating each story for Liquid Imagination, I go back and polish the recording through digital editing. As I explained, I eliminate the many reading mistakes I make along the way, along with a variety of other distractions that can creep into the recording process.
7) Anything going on in your life you’d like to mention. I know you have a collection of your very short horror stories up at Amazon (Tiny Terrors)? Any new projects in the works?
Yep, Tiny Terrors is still out there: 67 of my short horror stories for Kindle at $3.49.
As for what’s in the works, I know a lot of my writer friends will write several stories and send them out to various publications. I tend to write one or two, shop ‘em around, and sort of wait to see what happens before writing more. So right now I’m waiting to see what happens with “The Stone Baby” and another story I sent out with it. Probably not the most efficient way to go about it, but I can’t seem to do it any other way.