Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Aha Moment: When Reading Aloud Makes the Story

This weekend was spent doing a lot of editing.  My husband, the fabulous Edward Varga, was asked to submit two pieces, so my editor hat was on for a while, making a grouchy wife.

One of the stories was a picture book that I didn't fully appreciate at first.  This makes editing tough and being a loving supportive wife even tougher.  I was frustrated with the mechanics of the submission, 20 pages, 450 characters per page.  The story had 23 pages and many pages over 450 characters - ARRGGGHHHH!  But then I realized that I could do some cutting, and while my husband and son played Wii, I cut, I edited, I arrggghhhed over many a page, until finally it was done.

Then my husband in his infinite wisdom suggested I read the story aloud to Peter.  After all, Peter's reindeer Poopy was the inspiration for the story.  *Side note, my husband and I disagree about how 'Poopy' got named, so maybe he'll write about it on his blog:*

Have you ever noticed how reading a story aloud really brings it to life?  In the hands of a great storyteller, it is priceless, in the hands of a librarian it can also be pretty good - I don't want to toot my own horn too much, but I do love to read-aloud and have been told I'm pretty good :-)

Well, there I sat, my husband's story on his computer in my lap, Poopy in one hand and my arm around Peter.  Thus I began and as I told Poopy's story, it came to life.  When I got to the part where the little elf speaks, Peter couldn't contain his laughter and we all fell in love with Poopy.

Reading is so powerful!  It let's you escape, it can tell you about your life, it can bring you to tears and it can bring laughter.  The images, the voices, the fun.  Thank you dearest for that sweet story, I hope it's wings will carry her far, but know that your family will always cherish it.

The point is dear readers and especially writers, if you want to know what kind of legs your story has, read it aloud.  If you have a picture book story, read it to a 4yr. old with a great laugh!


  1. I knew you would like the story - it is destined to be bigger than Rudolph ever was, I tells ya!

  2. Such a great idea! When I read out loud, things become sooo much clearer. I'm a newbie follower btw, nice to meetcha :)