1. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    reading aloud

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by zaffy, Sep 16, 2010.

    I have a short story, which reads okay. I am going to read it out to a writing group. Should I alter it? Put in more, he said, she said etc.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Only if it is unclear who is speaking. Reading aloud you have the option of varying voices and making it clearer that way.
     
  3. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    Unfortunately, useless at mimicry. Shall add extra he said, she said.
     
  4. erik martin
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    erik martin Contributing Member

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    If the story was already well written, it shouldn't be necessary to differentiate between characters by doing voices. I like to read things aloud; oftentimes things sound different to me when read aloud as opposed to just read to myself. Sometimes, I notice things that don't flow well that I missed on a silent read through.
     
  5. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    This is basically what I was going to say. Actually, I had a teacher in college who encouraged us to read things out loud for this very reason. You can catch things that don't flow better if you read it aloud than you can reading it in your head.

    I would read it aloud to myself before reading it in front of the class. That way, if there's anything that doesn't make sense or any confusion in regards to who is speaking, you'll catch it and fix it before reading it to the class. :)
     
  6. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    Problem.
    It all makes sense to me because I wrote it.
     
  7. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, give the class some credit for understanding it, and then if they don't, it's always something for them to pick up on and give you assurance that we can't since we haven't seen the piece in question? I wouldn't over-do the speech tags just 'cause you're anxious. It could get even more monotonous hearing them over and over than being confusing. People pick up easier on repetition on hearing things out loud, so if every other line seems to start or end with he/she said, they'll pick up on it a lot faster than seeing it on the page, where they blend in a lot easier, since the brain has the chance to zoom over them.
     
  8. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    Okay, I shall read it as originally written.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    how can we answer that when we haven't read it?
     
  10. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    I think what Hidden means is that you are likely to find glitches in phrasing etc which might not be apparent as you write. Reading aloud as one of the process of editing your work helps.
     
  11. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Exactly what I meant. Thank you for clarifying for me. :)
     
  12. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    Thanks for all of that. The question I am trying to ask is, does one write a short story differently if it is intended to be written aloud? I listen to short stories on the radio and get the impression they are written that way, or altered, especially for the ear rather than the eye.
     
  13. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not unless you are intending it as an audiobook or a speech. If you want it to be a short story written then reading it aloud helps you work out how well the punctuation flows. If it isn't clear who said what when reading it won't be when it is written down.

    If you do want an audiobook or speech then yes the skills are slightly different. However you should be able to read any book aloud, there are situations with children, reading together as a family or when someone is ill when all works should have that ability. It is achieved by punctuation, flow etc.

    -Charlotte
     
  14. zaffy
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    zaffy Contributing Member

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    Got it. Thanks.
     
  15. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Though I have noticed that generally short stories read on the radio do tend to focus on speech and summaries of action; rarely they seem to have more than a few lines of description in one chunk, or a long stretch of action.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i'm assuming you meant to say 'read aloud' not 'written aloud'...

    the answer is 'no'... short stories are written to be read, not heard by their 'audience'... scripts are written to be heard, not read by theirs...
     

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