Friday, September 21, 2012

Reading Your Work Aloud--Whether You're Sharing with a Group, a Big Audience, or Just Yourself, Some Tips on Why Reading Aloud Helps You

Many years ago, when my books were first being published, I took a class on reading my writing aloud. 

It was taught by a television actor from California.  He was a wonderful teacher, funny and engaging, and he got us introverted writers right up out of our chairs. 

He spoke about basic "reading aloud" tips like good breath control and how to pause, but the most important take-away was passion.

"You have to love what you're reading," he said.  "Without passion for your work, your listeners will never really get why they are listening.  Read it as if it's fresh, exciting, and enjoyable to you."

A very basic guideline yet one that writers often miss.  We know our work so very well, and we see all the hiccups and stumbles.  It's hard to read it as if we are fresh to it, excited, and enjoying the story ourselves.  We're mostly worrying about whether anyone else is liking it!

I've given lots of readings over the years, during book tours and on television and radio interviews.  This bit of advice has been very helpful when I choose my excerpt to read aloud and when I practice.  In my practice time if I don't feel any passion for the story, it's not the right piece to read. 

This week's blog is all about the basics of choosing, as well as how to find that passion again, so your reading will be inspired and inspiring. 

We'll also explore the benefits of reading aloud to yourself--what you can learn from this technique used by so many pros.