Kendra Bonnett--Getting Read #17
If you saw my Saturday post over on Women's Memoirs ("Web Video Has Gone…Well, Viral. What Does this Mean to Memoir Writers?"), you'll know that I'm writing a series of book business and marketing blogs about video and how we (as writers) can/should/MUST use it effectively.
I know I say in the headline that it's hard. Actually, in terms of the technology, it's not that difficult. In my own case, I found it was more a case of getting my courage up. Even though it's only video, and I'm performing in the privacy of my own home office, I get a little stage fright. Well, I used to.
In fact, as I became more comfortable recording, I found my videos getting longer and longer. And this leads to two problems. The first is the most obvious. The series is called Writing in Five. It's not called Writing in Six or Writing in Nine. YouTube, which is where we host our videos (on either our Women's Memoirs channel or our Writing Alchemy channel), limits non-commercial productions to 10 minutes. I was getting dangerously close to the cut off.
The second problem is that most people don't want to sit still for eight or nine minutes of me blabbering away. I mean, I think the content is interesting, but I have to remain realistic. In fact, according to ComScore, the videos watched on YouTube average 4.4 minutes in length. Yup, nine minutes is too long...by a factor of two.
Shaving minutes off one's video is hard. Okay, I'm not going to mince words. I'm going to come right out and say it the way I am feeling it. It's damn hard. But I'm happy to report that I'm moving in the right direction. My latest Writing in Five video has writing tips on dialogue with master dialectician Mark Twain as our guide. It's just six minutes...and a hair.
I hope you'll watch it. More importantly, I hope you'll learn from it. You'll pick up some tips about dialogue, but I want you to watch the video and listen to my words. Then compare this with an earlier video, such as my tips on writing paragraphs--from Sheridan Baker.
Do you see what I did to trim more than three minutes? I don't try to read my screens. I get double duty from image and voice. The visuals are telling part of the story, and I'm speaking the rest. Using this technique, I can cover a lot more territory in a shorter amount of time.
I'm not a master yet. I still haven't broken the five minute barrier. In fact, Matilda will be doing the next Writing in Five. I'll let you in on a little secret--she's very competitive. She's going to do everything she can to turn in a stellar video performance in under five minutes.
The pressure is on! Matilda, I can name that tune in just...
Video is a medium foreign to most writers...that is unless we're screenwriters. But the Internet, and especially the smartphones (iPhone) and tablets (iPad), are such visual platforms. It's time we push our fears aside and tackle video head on. And to tell you the truth, it's fun.
Lights...camera...action. Mr. deMille, I'm ready for my close up. Cut!