Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Short story hit - tobereadaloud.org

Hello all - I'm back!

Okay, so I know I wasn't away for long but I'm back now. Had a lovely weekend away (in the country). Also visited my old school for the first time in 15 years which was a very strange experience. I expected to be flooded with memories but, because the school has changed hands since I went there, everything was different and I actually felt quite lost. A few memories dribbled back but I didn't feel the enormous rush of emotions I was expecting and, in a way, I was relieved. I'm not sure I could cope with feeling that angsty and rebellious again!

In other news - I've finally finished reading "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print" and will be posting a few hints and tips from the book as I start ploughing through the first edit of my novel. I've searched and searched the internet for editing tips but haven't found any one site that offers a definitive approach so I'll pretty much be making it up as I go along using "self-editing" and "Make Your Words Work" as guides.

Oh yes - another short story hit arrived in my email box today and cheered me right up...

To be read aloud are going to publish my story "Slipping Down the Sky" in their next 'To Be Read Aloud' anthology (they pay too - $100!). The company buys/compiles stories that are meant to be read aloud and sells them to people who enter "oral interpretation" (reading) competitions. If you want to submit a story to them it should be no shorter than 600 words and no longer than 1500 words. Also bear in mind that a large proportion of the TBRA readers are schools (although my story was narrated by a woman in her early thirties).


SallyQ said...

Well done again, Cally! (and welcome home). Sounds like a good market.

womagwriter said...

Well done Cally! What makes a story a good one to be read aloud, I wonder? It's always a good tip to read something aloud before submitting it - you spot all sorts of problems the eye just scans over otherwise.

CTaylor said...

p.s. Sally - definitely give it a go. They seem like lovely people, respond to emails quickly and will pay via PayPal when the anthology is published (and send you a complimentary copy).

CTaylor said...

Thanks Sally. It's good to be back. Still haven't written a word since I finished the novel but my brain, it has started to bubble in a creative fashion again! :o)

Thanks Womag. On the TBRA website they suggest you write in the first person (my story was 1st person). What else makes it good to be read aloud? Hmmm, off the top of my head...a distinctive voice/MC...one thought per sentence (if you know what I mean - long rambling sentences containing lots of info are not a good idea)..a pace that neither speeds nor drags...dialogue (but not too much or listeners may get confused)...emotion...not too many characters...varied sentence length (short beats seem to work quite well).

Going to the Liar's League event a few weeks ago gave me a whole new perspective on what works when read aloud and what doesn't. What didn't work so well were stories with lots of characters, dialogue in indistinct voices (so you couldn't follow who was saying what), an overly complicated plot. Flashbacks also need to be carefully considered.

Oh - I went off on one a bit there didn't I. Ah well!

Zinnia Cyclamen said...

Well done with the 'hit', and good luck with the editing - as I'm going through it too, I'll be interested to see how you work it out.