Bob Tinsley: Hefalumps and Woozles, or, Ebooks and Scripts

transmediaby Bob Tinsley

Transmedia.

That’s a hot new buzzword making the rounds of the prose indie publishing interwebs. I searched for it on TVWriter and got two hits; in neither of them did I find the word “transmedia”. Don’t know what the deal with that is.

But I digress.

Among the indie publishing crowd transmedia means taking the book you sweated blood and cried tears over and migrating it to other forms of publishing, i.e., audiobooks or screenplays or some other means of distribution in order to reach a new audience and generate new income streams.

I first came across this word on Monday, August 12. It took about three days for the bells to start ringing in the back of my head. I gotta tell ya, that’s very distracting. Amongst the clamor it dawned on me that I had some audio scripts that I could make some minor changes to and indie-publish as ebooks on Kindle and Nook.

Back in the mid-2000s I ran across a website called “Darker Projects”. They produce original audio dramas for distribution on the web. I have always been a big fan of Old Time Radio (The Theatre of the Mind!), so I figured this was the Best Thing Ever.

Surfing around the site I discovered a tab called “Contribute”. Clicking on it I found that they were looking for people to help expand their offerings, from voice actors to producers to sound engineers to directors to – wait for it – WRITERS!

This was my new favorite site. A few years earlier I had purchased a book by J. Michael Straczynski called The Complete Book of Scriptwriting and in this book was a section on writing for radio drama. Radio drama/audio drama, potaytoe/potahtoe.

I devoured that section of the book and began surfing the web trying to find examples of radio scripts and advice about writing them. Oddly enough, I was able to find quite a bit.

After doing what was probably way too much research (does ANYONE do just enough research?) I began to write and submit scripts to Darker Projects. At the time, the King of Submissions (aka slush pile reader) was a guy named Elie Hirschman, a real mensch. He also did more than a little voice acting and directing. He actually liked some of the stuff I sent in, immediately endearing him to me like a brother.

Over a period of about three years, DarkerProjects produced five of my scripts with a full cast, original music, sound effects, an intro and outro, the whole magilla. The product Darker Projects put out was as professional as anything available then or now.

HEROES is the title of the produced script I chose with which to dip my toes into the Transmedia Stream. The “shooting script” was about 13 pages and resulted in a 21-minute audio.

The DarkerProjects crew are still producing new audio, so you should go to their site and listen. Everything is available for free download or streaming. These guys are good. And so, I think, is HEROES.

Go there. Now!