December 13, 2019 Brian Allain

Read Your Work Aloud

I recommend you find places to read your work aloud.

 

A chance to teach, lecture, lead a retreat, speak at a workshop—all these give writers a chance to write a piece we can read aloud to an audience so we can hone our skills and see if what we are writing is worth the time it takes for someone to read it. There is no better way to see how a longer work is coming along than to read a portion aloud to a crowd of unsuspecting folks.

 

When you read a work aloud, you can tell if the tone of voice holds up. You can spot the holes in a story more quickly. You can tell when the thing is slowing to a crawl and when it is moving too quickly.

 

You can tell whether or not people are laughing in the right spots or reaching for their tissues when you hoped they might. You can tell when the work drags and when the work sings.

 

If you read your work aloud and you cannot tell any of those things, you may want to take up watercolors.

 

– Robert Benson