How to be awesome reading your work aloud

How to be Awesome Reading Your Story Aloud

Reading fiction aloud can sound like music. Reading prosody, is the term for that musical style of reading. In other words, it’s reading with expression.  And reading with expression is how to be awesome reading your story aloud.  But as a writer, we spend a lot of time alone with our thoughts and our keyboards. Preparing to give a reading can be daunting. You’re filled with questions and doubts. Where do I start? What do I read? How much do I read? How do I get through the reading without sounding like an idiot? What do I wear? Stop. Take a breath. This is your guide on how to be awesome reading your story aloud.   First hint: Don’t hide behind your book. Talk to Your Host Preparation begins with knowing more about what’s expected. Ask your host: will you be sitting or standing? At a table or a podium? Will you use a microphone? Do you check in? When and where? Is it okay to sell books after the reading? Can you ask for signups for your email list? Is it okay to bring props or bookmarks? How long are you expected to read? Sometimes how long you read is […]

Educating the Heart, the Writer’s Heart

When Aristotle spoke of educating the heart, he meant that one must be emotionally intelligent. Of course, the term emotional intelligence didn’t come into common use until after the publication of the book by the same name in 1996. Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. –Psychology Today Educating the Heart It’s not that you’re supposed to actually manipulate the emotions of others. Too many people do that far too often. What it means is to be self-aware and to be empathetic with other people. How do we become empathetic? Reading is the number one way most people educate the heart. Stories not only help us define terms we use to identify emotions, it shows that two people experiencing the same event can feel differently. Why do I bring this up? As a person, this is important. As a writer, it has another level of importance. Storytellers have an obligation to our readers. Our characters emotions need to reflect real emotions. This is where you must write what you know. Your emotional experiences are real. They are what you must be able to put on the page. Get back in […]

Conflict: Twist the Knife Slowly

Conflict: Week 3 of Re-visioning Your Story Violence is not Conflict. It is not action. It is not bickering, or worry, or dreams, or traveling. Unfortunately, many seasoned and novice writers mistake one or all of those things for conflict. Why is conflict so difficult for the writer? Because human beings naturally shy away from conflict. It’s uncomfortable and sometimes outright dangerous. But conflict is essential to storytelling for as Robert McKee says in his book, Story, “Nothing moves forward in a story except through conflict.”: So, you ask, if conflict is not action, violence, bickering, etc., is conflict an obstacle? Well, yes and no. An obstacle can present your character with something he must overcome, but if it does not present a dilemma, your reader may not care. Definition In How to Tell a Story: The Secrets of Writing Captivating Tales by Peter Rubie and Gary Provost, the authors give what I believe is the best definition of conflict I’ve ever read. “The idea of conflict can be reduced to the word no.” Someone or something is saying no to your character. Yet, compelling conflict is more than someone saying no. It’s more than an obstacle; it’s something that […]