By Jane Friedman of the Virginia Quarterly Review (formerly of Writers Digest)
On July 11, I was a featured speaker at True Theatre. True Theatre is a Cincinnati storytelling event, where everyday people tell true stories about their lives to a general audience.
Each evening has a specific theme—independence was last week’s theme—and I told a story about traveling to Thailand on my own, and getting stuck.
To prepare for this spoken word event, I had to spend time, at first, reading the story out loud, then memorizing and rehearsing it.
Aside from the lessons I learned about storytelling (to come in another post), I learned the value of reading a piece out loud.
Now, up until this point, I was probably like most of you. I’ve seen the advice to “read your work out loud” many, many times. I didn’t practice this technique (except for poetry), and found it irrelevant, unhelpful, uncomfortable, and time consuming. Who cares how something sounds when read aloud, unless it was meant to be heard?
But for important short stories or essays, I’ll be using this technique. Why?
(And, if you live near Cincinnati, I encourage you to check out True Theatre for wonderful storytelling.)
Have you ever felt the wonderful, addictive rush of adrenalin when a great story idea invades your gray matter, only to lose it when, as time goes on, the idea peters out and you don't know where to go from there?
It's a common problem. We've all been there.
Nine times out of ten, that means there was some story planning you rushed past. Just put the vehicle in reverse, and go back and do that now.This blog post by Janice Hardy of The Other Side of the Story should give you plenty of help with that, so dig right in. ~ Premise and theme.