Having recorded my flash fiction story “Another Shift” for this blog and thinking about creating more, I thought I would like to talk about the challenge of reading my stories aloud. First off, I have to tell you that I have been a fan of listening to someone read a story since my elementary school days. I remember one teacher reading “All Creatures Great and Small” in school. I also own several audio books including Scott Bricks’ reading of two Thomas Covenant novels.
Second, I use to be a lot shyer than I am now. Speaking in public was a gut wrenching experience at the best of times; thus, there were few chances to practice reading techniques. You definitely do not want me to read a poem. However, I find myself looking forward to stretching my talents this way, if only with my smaller pieces. Finally, the version that you can hear me read in the file is greatly different from the original story I submitted to a flash fiction contest over at SFFWorld.com.
I had hoped that I had saved an original version for you to compare with the reading, unfortunately, I did not. What I can say is that reading the story in my head was a lot different from reading it aloud. Lines that seemed smooth and comprehensible became tongue twisting nightmares. Sentences I used to describe atmosphere and mood ended up tripping over one another or coming out hollow. So, the final version you hear me reading has been hashed out over several trial readings to iron out the kinks. I hope this and future experiences will serve to strengthen my writing skills.