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.)