Quality, not Quantity (reading your work)

It was another glorious evening at The Beach House Beanery this third Tuesday of May.  Fifteen authors/singers presented their material at our monthly Inspired Mic.  As usual, we only got six minutes to woo our audience.

One reader was a technical writer for a gazillion years, so I knew he can put words together to make a sentence.  And, these sentences are well written and educational for a select group of readers.  But when he was reading his fiction, I only heard words, not a story.  I’m sure it was well written and entertaining, but it was lost on me and probably the others in the audience.

At break time, I approached him and asked if he minded if I gave him some unsolicited advice.  When you get my age, you do things like that.

He was gracious and listened.

“It’s obvious you can write it, now you have to learn how to read it.  You read so fast and without pausing for effect, it read like a technical manual.  I couldn’t tell you a thing about what you read.”

He replied, “Yes, I know, I need to slow down. But I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to finish my story.”

With that I told him what the more experienced and the wiser have told me.

“It’s quality, not quantity.  Remember, if the clock runs out before you’ve finished reading, you’ve already reeled in the listeners.  They’ll be waiting to hear the rest of your story next time.

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