Today is Picture Book Wednesday and I wanted to talk about read aloud-ability. I’m not sure if it’s a real word, but we do hear it used in the picture book writing world.
Good picture book writers know that part of their job is to create a story that begs to be read aloud. Through word choices, rhythm, and possibly rhyme, we entice the reader and listener to love our story and want to hear it again and again and again.
In the classes and workshops I teach, I encourage students to read their story aloud, but better yet – have someone else read it aloud.
Because you know how you want it to sound. If you read it aloud, you’ll put the emphasis and rhythm where you “hear” it. But you won’t be there with the editor and (hopefully) the end reader when s/he reads it. Listening to someone else read your story aloud (especially if it rhymes), will help you identify places where the prose lags or isn’t as engaging or where your meter is off. Have a copy of your own to mark up as you listen to the story read aloud.
Check out freelance editor Emma Dryden’s “Hearing and Tasting Our Work” blog post for some additional thoughts on this.
Do you read your work aloud or have someone else read it? How has that affected revisions?