Conquer Reading Aloud!

We’re all about reading aloud. As a writer, you can’t beat reading aloud for checking the flow of your story. That’s why we’re so stoked to be participating in World Read Aloud Day. Today we’re going to be heading to Books of Wonder in NYC, where we’ll run a mini-writing workshop and where Alecia Whitaker (author of The Queen of Kentucky) will be reading Fig stories aloud. If you’re a NY Fig, you should join us! The fun starts at 3:00 p.m.

If you’re not in NY, you can still get in on the read-aloud action (check out other WRAD events around the country here.) To help you out, we’ve got the most common reading aloud hurdles, and how to overcome them!

Dry Mouth
Reading is thirsty work. Bring a beverage that will sooth your pallet. Pro tip: avoid anything with dairy. Stick to clear liquids like tea, Gatorade, and the ever popular water. Chewing gum or tucking a mint under your tongue also helps, but this technique is only for the coordinated among us.

Eye Contact
Eye contact is not easy. Especially if you’re reading an awkward part about, say, a girl gushing over the new boy in school. It’s a little weird to lock eyes with someone and say, “I would die for him,” even if you’re quoting a fictional 13-year-old girl. More weird, though? Reading a story to the page. The page is not impressed by your eye contact. Let the page go.

Obfuscated Verbiage
Or, as we like to call them, confusing words. Read through the story before you present it in front of a crowd. That word you think you know but you realize you’ve never heard anyone say aloud? Look it up. Most dictionaries will let you play speak and spell so you can hear the proper way to say the word.

Speed
Appreciate the words. Savor the words. Don’t, however, make “possible” more than three syllables. Puh-aw-suh-ih-buh-ull? That’s terrfying.

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