Thursday, April 23, 2015

T is for talking out loud

I'm always surprised at how many writers I encounter that do not read their work aloud. What? Why ever not? Go back to the beginning of story telling - put the telling back in - and I don't mean the explaining - I remember the feeling you had when you were a child and someone said 'let me tell you a story'. Magic, eh? So talk your book - read it out loud and hear what it sounds like. Do the conversations ring true? Can you catch the repeated words? Perhaps I'm an auditory learner but I cannot imagine knowing my story without hearing it spoken.  If you have loved ones that can stand it read out loud to them. Another set of ears is even better than another set of eyes in my opinion. When you are reading it aloud you will be so conscious of other ears that you will have a true and vivid account of where the story drags and where it soars. Trust me. You will.

Dickens read all his books aloud - all of them! And some of them, most of them, were really long. He read it as an ordinary part of writing. He gave readings of the books he wrote in installments and used the response to further what worked and stop what didn't. I'm not suggesting you do this but it is hard to argue with someone of Dicken's stature!


Another photo from the bridge taken two days ago - this one looking back towards what is called 'Up Along' (meaning the area in the village that grew up along the river and the older part is called 'Down Along').

6 comments:

Liza said...

I find so many things to change when I read out loud. Printing it out and reading it out loud gives things double the help!

Margot Kinberg said...

I really love this idea, Jan. In fact, I tell my students when they're writing their papers that they ought to read them aloud. That's a great way not just to catch the meaning of the paper, but also to pick up on any awkwardness and mistakes.

Susan Scott said...

Well, if Dickens did it then that's good enough for me!
A good friend and I (she lives in the States, I in South Africa) are writing a book, and when she was visiting here last year we read out to each other. What a difference it made! (WIP) ... thank you for the reminder ...
Beautiful photo ... and names

Tamara Narayan said...

I do read my work out loud--to my cat. Usually he walks off. He's a harsh critic. But it does help me. I saw a recommendation to read without expression, but I find this impossible. That's too boring to endure.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cool photo.
I read my work out loud, especially the dialogue.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

My husband really likes to have me read what I've written. I'd have a hard time reading out loud to empty space but it's very helpful to have a willing and eager listener. I also like to listen to my published books on the Kindle read aloud format, although some of the pronunciations are a bit odd sometimes. But I figure if I can stand to listen to my own work without cringing then it's ready for the public.