Host ID: 107
What are some typical ways to create characters in your stories? Should you create the plot first, or the characters first? Should we think of characters in terms of heroes and villains, or protagonists and antagonists? What is the value of character depth, and is it the same as the character arc? Lostnbronx offers up even more off-the-cuff thoughts about this complicated subject.
Some characters are simple, some are complex, and some are entirely unknowable. What sorts of characters work best for grand, sweeping good vs. evil tales? Which types work best for simple character dramas? And how do characters interact with the setting and story? Lostnbronx offers some off-the-cuff observations.
Characters are intrinsic to stories of all types, and they often have journeys, referred to as arcs. What, exactly is the character arc? Does everybody in a tale have one? Do they even need one? How do arcs affect the plot, and vice-versa? Lostnbronx shares some off-the-cuff thoughts about this often misunderstood aspect of storytelling.
Lostnbronx takes a quick look at how story endings need to be structured in order to be satisfying. Lots of endings are possible, but they don’t all require the same treatment. Some can be abrupt, some can be sad, but all of them need to meet certain emotional expectations.
Plot twists come in several varieties, and can produce different effects in stories. They can be powerful tools, done correctly, but quickly become trite and predictable if over-used, or used poorly. What's the best way to include them? And when might it be a mistake to even try?
Lostnbronx contrasts what he calls "static action" with "story action", and looks at the functions of these techniques for storytelling in various media.
A car chase is action-filled, but so might be a quiet Victorian drawing room, where, at least on the surface of it, nothing is happening.
What actually constitutes action? What purpose does it serve? And how much of it do you really need?
Lostnbronx goes over the narrative technique of using one main character to tell a story, as opposed to using multiple characters. What advantage, if any, does so-called "head-hopping" have, over focusing on a single character at a time? Why is it sometimes better to do the opposite? And how can these different construction elements impact the story as a whole?
This is just a quick demo of my new microphone wind screen muff. Though you can still hear some wind noise getting through when especially sharp gusts roll by, I think you'll agree the difference with and without the screen is dramatic.
The Movo is not perfect, and will not stop all wind noise on a very blustery day, but this kind of screen is essential for outdoor recording. The only editing I did on this track was a fade-in and out, and transcoding it from wav to flac (which was then transcoded at HPR into other formats).
RECORDER: Tascam DR-40 Digital Recorder
WIND SCREEN: Movo WS9 Furry Outdoor Microphone Windscreen Muff (Portable Digital Recorders)
Lostnbronx takes a breezy look at narrative points-of-view, as well as temporal tenses in storytelling. What are they, how do they differ, and why might one be better than another in a particular situation?
Lostnbronx talks about plot and story, as well as characters and backgrounds, in storytelling of all types. These things are closely tied together, and a problem with one can easily be a problem with all.
Lostnbronx takes a quick look at what it is that constitutes "reviews" of stories (be they books, films, TV shows, audio dramas, whatever) as opposed to "critiques" of them.
How do these two things differ, and what are their purposes? Is one more important than the other? Why does it even matter?
Lostnbronx looks at flashbacks, flashforwards, plays-within-plays, and dream sequences as techniques of both good and bad storytelling.
Lostnbronx considers the effect that Elon Musk and SpaceX are having on the latest push for the exploitation and exploration of space, and the danger of pegging the future of the human race upon the showmanship of one man.
Lostnbronx measures how loud his own thoughts are -- or rather, how loud outside noise has to be before they are disrupted.
It turns out that unwanted music in his ears at -30 dB is when his train of thought starts to derail.
CONTEXT IS EVERYTHING
hosted by Lostnbronx
Turning a large audio file into a tiny video file for a very specific use case.
This solution probably won't work for you, because none of the ones I found on the Internet worked for me. Trial and error led me here, and it's probably the only guide you'll have as well.
Start with as high a quality audio file as you can manage. .wav is good, but it's big. Let's convert it to .flac. If you already have a .flac file, skip this part.
1.) Convert .wav to .flac.
sox INPUT.wav OUTPUT.flac
2.) Convert the .flac to a very small mono .opus. Bitrate can be even smaller. I went down to 14.
opusenc --bitrate 18 --downmix-mono INPUT.flac OUTPUT.opus
3.) Combine the .opus file with a single static image, and output to a .webm video. This should not be very much bigger in file size than the .opus and .jpg combined. The smaller the image file, the better. (I tried using a .gif, but it was actually bigger than the .jpg I ended up with.)
ffmpeg -i INPUT.opus -r 1 -loop 1 -i INPUT.jpg -c:v libvpx -tune stillimage -shortest -y -c:a copy OUTPUT.webm
The final file. It doesn't sound great, but it's listenable, which is all that was desired.
Here's a better quality version of the audiobook.
The process and final result can be improved upon by people smarter than I, without doubt, but this works for now.
SPECIAL THANKS to the Urandom guys (X1101, Thaj, and Pokey), Monsterjavaguns (Jason van Gumster), and the ever-fabulous Klaatu, for their suggestions and encouragement. I would not have found a solution to this, nor even thought to do an episode of HPR, without them!
Editor's Note 2018-02-15: The wrong audio was accidentally released with this show. It has been corrected and should be re-uploaded by your podcatcher.
Lostnbronx looks at the concept of the "big idea" in storytelling and various genres, arguing that such a creative tool may not actually be all that necessary to tell a compelling tale.
Deepgeek, Klaatu, and Lostnbronx look back at the flappers and speakeasies of the 1920's and 30's, and attempt to draw a line from the newly independent women of that era, up through the Playboy Bunnies of the 1950's, all the way to today.
Are things better or worse? Is what we "know" about history really important? And do the Info-Underground boys have any clue what they're even talking about?
In 2017 I created a forum over at Proboards dedicated to my audio work and writing. It didn't attract a user base, and I deleted it when 2018 rolled around.
These are just some thoughts about why I wanted it to begin with, and why I think it failed.
I still believe Proboards is a good way to jump into forums and using forum software, and still recommend it for that reason:
Here are some of my projects mentioned briefly in this episode:
The Info-Underground guys consider why capitalism does (or maybe doesn't) work, why people use it as a tool for a better life (or maybe don't), and what the source of ambition, commercial aspiration, and greed truly is (or maybe isn't).
Lostnbronx rambles on about the structure of stories, and how their internal logic can make or break them.
Star Trek's warp drive, as described on the Memory Alpha wiki:
My own use of the starjump concept is probably best heard in Stardrifter Book 03: "Risk Analysis"
Deepgeek, Klaatu, and Lostnbronx discuss communities, real and virtual, and get to the heart (or not) of the confluent issues surrounding modern confusion, apathy and despair with their leadership.
I was partially inspired by Bitbox's really wonderful episode, "hpr2413: personal health care", to ramble on about the need for the HPR community to, maybe, start talking about a mental health crisis that touches pretty much everyone in the modern world: addiction.
Personal Health Care
hosted by Bitbox:
This is just a short "episode" wherein I ponder the nature of showmanship and razzle-dazzle regarding the success or failure of FOSS, and other projects that require collaboration. Your comments and opinions are ACTIVELY encouraged.
Deepgeek, Klaatu, and Lostnbronx discuss their long-running server co-operative, including the triumphs and challenges over the years, personal benefits, and why listeners might want to create such a thing themselves.
I started with tabletop role-playing games just about forty years ago. Klaatu recently did a two-part episode on the merits of RPG's, and it prompted some thoughts.
KLAATU'S RPG EPISODES:
Deepgeek, Lostnbronx, and Klaatu talk about the state of independent art.
ocenaudio is a cross-platform, easy to use, fast and functional audio editor. It is the ideal software for people who need to edit and analyze audio files without complications. ocenaudio also has powerful features that will please more advanced users.
ocenaudio supports VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugins, giving its users access to numerous effects. Like the native effects, VST effects can use real-time preview to aide configuration.
There's not much documentation out there for Ocenaudio. Here are a couple links to articles that might help:
In Part 07, lostnbronx talks about his Tascam DR-40 solid state recording device, covers an OTR show of particular note, along with a new show that's also extremely cool, and then makes a plea for you to support your favorite artists.
MUSIC IN THIS EPISODE
- myfreemickey_-_The_Game_Has_Changed.mp3 http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/myfreemickey/40672
- My Free Mickey (featuring Kamihamiha) http://dig.ccmixter.org/people/myfreemickey
- Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
The Tascam DR-40
The Zoom H4n
The Lives of Harry Lime
The Wireless Theater Company
In this installment, lostnbronx interviews Julie Hoverson, a modern audio drama enthusiast of great experience and insight.
Check out Julie's wonderful audio content at:
Here are some links to the software discussed in this episode
- The M-Audio Fast Track USB: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/FastTrackUSB/
- The Bickersons article on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bickersons
- Here are a bunch of episodes of this hilarious show on the Internet Archive: http://archive.org/details/TheBickersons54Episodes
- Audio Epics: http://www.audioepics.com/
- The Witch Hunter Chronicles: http://whchronicles.wordpress.com/about/
- VJ_Memes_-_circus_man.mp3: http://ccmixter.org/files/VJ_Memes/37243
lostnbronx sends in a show which brings us down to earth when we talk about poor reception and slow Internet speeds.
Sorry for the sound quality. I recorded this in the car, Dave Yates style, with my Sanza Fuze v2, running Rockbox -- but my car is loud, and I had the Fuze hanging precariously from my jacket, where it was covered over half the time.
The summer shorts are intended to be shortform twitter like audio updates. In this summer short we are introduced to George Washington Carver, a personal hero of lostnbronx http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Washington_Carver
(This is not where I bought mine, but the price seems pretty good -- better than I paid, anyway)
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (At the Internet Archive)
Napalm Lounge (ZIP file, OGG format)
MY OWN SITE
A convenient link to Part 1
Creative Commons Attribution (3.0)
Hyper-Scheduling For Maximum Effect
follow the progress of this likely-ineffective experiment
Podcasting, Podfading, and Ordinary Voices Saying Extraordinary Things
Script for this episode available on my gopherspace:
lostnbronx talks about the contents of his pockets, in this latest edition of the "What's In Your Toolkit" series.
Join us as SigFLUP, Deepgeek, lostnbronx, and Klaatu discuss the sci fi movie THX 1138
LUGGING IT HOME
Getting By Without A Local Linux Users Group
Music in this episode:
My Wife And Her New Machine
Music in this episode:
His very brief listing at the Podsafe Music Network can be found here, but it doesn't do this great man justice.
By all means, check out his Wikipedia page for a nice overview. His career was shorter than it should have been, but he had no equal.
May he rest in peace.
FOSS and the Barrier To Acceptance
music in this episode:
found at The Podsafe Music Network
the Simple Audio Player
The Sap Homepage:
SAP's Launchpad Page:
Music In This Episode:
Pineapple Rag by the one and only Scott Joplin; a recording of the piano roll (the original electronica -- or would that be mechanica?), available in ogg vorbis, among other formats, at the Internet Archive.
THE JERKS AMONG US
Music in this episode
"Give Me Your Hand" and "Voicedance" sung by
Danny Fong, et al,
Danny's page on the Podsafe Network
Ray (the man's a genius)
Found all over the Internet, but here's a link to it over on Zefrank's site, along with a page of funny remixes.
THEATER OF THE IMAGINATION
Dramatic Audio Media, And Its Context
Shownotes -- In No Particular Order (Yay!)
First off, there's the Wikipedia page for audiobooks (strangely, they don't seem to have one specifically for podiobooks -- at least, when I looked. Someone should fix that. But not me. I'm too busy. Or something.)
The Internet Archive's Old Time Radio "Gunsmoke" collection
Darker Projects (lots of fun going on here)
Decoder Ring Theatre (The Red Panda is da man -- and his female sidekick is too...rowaar!)
BrokenSea Audio Productions (lookin' good)
For live stage productions, check this guy out -- I haven't seen him, myself, but he's got right idea!
Again, not anyone I've seen, but they sure have the fire!
Original street sound f/x
By gezortenplotz (http://www.freesound.org/usersViewSingle.php?id=11536) NYC_street leve02l.wav (http://www.freesound.org/samplesViewSingle.php?id=44796)
remixed by yours truly
Intro and Outro music by the Benny Goodman Orchestra, "Sing, Sing, Sing", performed on the "Camel Caravan", on November 4th, 1939 (public domain, and available at the Internet Archive here)
The Gray-Hoverman Antenna (a GPL 3.0 version)
The Digital Home forum
The Linux Outlaws Antenna thread
A few do-it-yourself antenna designs on Instructables
MYTHTV AND THE LIKE
Info about MythTV is not at all hard to come by these days, but here's a few places to start off with, just in case it is new to you.
This is an app that some people bill as an alternative to Mythbox
Drawn By Pain
Star Trek: Phase II
Star Trek: Of Gods and Men
Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog
(I figure there might be a few people on Earth who haven't yet seen Dr. Horrible. A really wonderful production, and a nice example of the wide breadth that Web content can take.)
"I Gotta Be Outa My Friggin' Mind"
NaNoWriMo.org (National Novel Writing Month) is an organization that sponsors an event each November wherein participants set out to write a novel in thirty days. The challenges and obsticles are many, not the least of which are the writers themselves.
Also of interest to writers:
Critters Story Group
makes roughly 1 US gallon after headspace and spillage are factored in Ingredients 3 1/2 pounds (1.5 kgs.) of honey 1 large orange 1 small handful of raisins 1 cinnamon stick 2 cloves pinch of nutmeg and allspice (optional) 1 sachet bread yeast water to just under 4 liters Procedure Cut orange into eigths. Add orange slices (peels and all) to a 4 liter jug, then add honey, spices, and water to 4 liters, less headspace. Cap and shake, mixing well. Uncap, add yeast. Cap and shake again. Uncap and attach waterlock. Let sit for 2 to 2 1/2 months. When mead is clear syphon it into clean bottles. Cap or cork these. Mead is now ready to drink, but gets better with age. Additional Reading The obligatory Wikipedia article A nice overview of mead history and nomenclature. (I've contributed to it myself, so you just know it's good!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mead Gotmead.com The single biggest mead resource on the Web. The forums are particularly useful. Many very knowledgeable and friendly people hang out here. http://www.gotmead.com The Mead Lover's Digest A venerable email forum, that gets sent out whenever there's enough content to fill and issue. Lots of good advice and recipes here. This is the introduction/signup page. http://www.talisman.com/mead/