Since I’ve become a SCBWI member (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators), I’ve learned a lot of ways to beef up my fiction. An easy way I just read about in our recent Bulletin, is to read your story aloud in front of a mirror, to a loved one or a crowd of kids. The key, however, is to do it without a manuscript in front of you, but to recite from your memory. Obviously if you have a novel rather than a picture book, you won’t be able to read the whole story. But that shouldn’t matter.
As I’ve learned through doing the exercise myself, reading from your memory cuts out unnecessary details and shows you what’s the meat of the story. Storytellers know this. And you will discover as you do it too, that reading aloud is a completely different skill than writing. Reading gives you added information to what will really excite your audience, what you simply don’t need, and the niggly details that might sound fancy shmancy while typing it on your computer, but will bore readers to death.
Try it and let me know what you think.
Interested in meeting with other writers on the West Side? Writers from all skills and levels will be meeting twice a month to share their writing goals and get information, resources and networking to finally accomplish their 2015 writing goals. I already have interest from an Oahu publication who is searching for local writers and is interested in being a guest speaker. You can find out information for the group here, and sign up here.