Sunday, January 21, 2007

Read Aloud

Have you every read your favorite story out load? Try reading aloud to others, yourself, or even your dog. (He may not understand, but will appreciate your voice.) Poetry is almost always best appreciated aloud, but so are many narratives. Kids love to hear stories read to them, and so do many of us as adults, if we give it a chance.
I haven’t any idea of what’s going on in Finnegan’s Wake, but read aloud it takes on a magical chanting quality. Much of Tom Robbins’ work begs to be read aloud. (Check out the "This sentence..." chapter in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.) Audio books are great, but it’s even better to read it yourself, to feel the words in your mouth. With any author who utilizes language powerfully, you should be able to feel the short hard syllables of dialogue spoken in anger, the lilting rhythm of nostalgia, the growl in the words of a woman protecting her child.
If you are a writer, try reading your story aloud as you revise. It will help you weed out awkward sentences, and strengthen your language and word choice.


Unknown said...

YES!! Being read to is one of the most enjoyable treats!! It is fun to read aloud to others, but no matter how old you are there is something really REALLY special about being read to...

It reveals the story in a spectacular way. It is as if this story is FOR US ALONE. And yet there is an exchange between novel/story reader and readee (OK, now I am just inventing words).

Bottom line, read-alouds are the best!

Kristen Eaton said...

Hey, no harm in inventing words - Shakespeare did it all the time.

Three cheers for read-alouds!