As I mentioned in my last post, I'm doing a reading on Tuesday (argh! so close!). I chose the story, printed it out in 14pt (just in case I get a sudden attack of fear-related blindness), and read it out loud...
"OH HECK!" I thought, or words to that effect. It was awful. The words stumbled over each other, there were too many trying to fill my mouth at once, my voice sounded flat. And there I was thinking this was one of the best stories ever! "I'm a bad writer, I should just stop writing right now!"
But, luckily, I had another thought... I've spent the last fourteen years reading bedtime stories. My kids are growing out of it now, which I miss, but the other night Youngest was feeling poorly and asked for a story. We reverted to my all-time favourite Monkey Puzzle. (This is very closely followed by A Squash and a Squeeze.) Such an easy story in verse to read, and so easy for young kids to join in on the repetition.
Sorry, I side-tracked a bit - over those fourteen years I've also read stories that I've found difficult to read, and three pop into my head straight away: Mr Men stories, Thomas the Tank Engine and Harry Potter. I struggled to read all of these aloud even though they flow so well when I read them silently. No one would say these are badly written, but they just don't work quite so well when the words are spoken.
"Hmmm," I thought this time, "perhaps the style needs to differ between stories designed to be read silently and those to be read aloud." And then I felt much better.
The advice I've read for a very long time has been to read your work out as part of the editing process, but I've decided that this ain't necessarily so. (On the tally of writing rules I've broken, I'm up to about fifteen now!)
I'm off to find a different story to read on Tuesday.
What are your thoughts about reading aloud? Am I wrong to break that editing rule?
Are there stories - your own/kids books etc - that you struggle to read aloud?