Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The first public reading PANIC

In a few short weeks, I will be reading a five minute excerpt from my novel, A Walk Away.
While this is really exciting and should be fun, I am concerned with reading well. Five minutes can be a long time to read out loud--and no one wants to listen to the most boring parts of a I'm trying to choose. Chapter 14 has been suggested since it has some witty dialogue and reveals one of the explanations to the book's title. Chapter 8 has also been suggested since it features the scene where the two main characters meet for the first time.

But I'd rather hear from readers... what makes a read excerpt draw you into wanting to read the book most?

I figure there are three main sets of variables I should attend to (this is where the social scientist in me geeks out):
1) The Style Variables like pitch, pace, inflection, clarity, and accent.
2) The Content Variables like how much dialogue, action, symbolism, meaningfulness, and closure or emotional bait the excerpt features.
3) The Context Variables like how much and what kinds of set up or explanation I should offer before reading.

Being largely tone-deaf and somewhat shy, I struggle the most with the first set regarding style--but I'd really like to hear what different readers like the most in each realm of variables. So let me know what you think?

And if you want to hear a practice sample for comparison to your ideal, or if it is easier for you to listen to me read and then critique than it is to just state what you like, then give a listen to this short reading from the book on SoundCloud:
Yes, the cat helps!

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