Why? Because no scenery would be safe. People would be able to hear the OM NOM NOM from outside the theater, and the sets would bear toothmarks from my constant chewing.
In short, I am a total ham.
|Someone ordered a LARGE HAM?|
What I didn't realize was that this could be a side benefit to being an author.
For example, I've just now come home from attending Boskone, a Boston-based science fiction convention. Among other wonderful parts of the con (including some entertaining discussions, more questions about teeth than I ever thought could be posed in a non-dentally-oriented panel, and impromptu Grail theorizing), I had the privilege of reading aloud from one of my short stories.
I picked a story that's coming out this year, and I hammed it up. Big time. And it was a blast.
I've heard that authors are the worst people to read their work. I don't know if I agree -- I'm obviously biased on this count -- but I do know that I love reading it aloud. Hell, it's sometimes the only way I can approach old work; I might cringe at the lumpy prose if I'm just reading it on my own, but if it's part of a performance, then I really enjoy turning it into something new. Some of this is just my inherent hamminess coming through. But it's also a way for me to emphasize how these characters sound in my head, to communicate how strongly I hear their voices and translate some of that more directly.
|Of course, the same tone doesn't work|
for everything. THIS SUMMER,
THE LIGHTS GO OUT.
GOOD. NIGHT. MOON.
Reading one's own work aloud in draft form is an excellent way to see whether your prose holds together. But it's also a great way to start hearing the side characters, or to get a feeling for the pacing and tension of a scene. There's a reason I love to read from the tower scene in Wild Hunt or the masked gathering in Soul Hunt, and not just because they end with great cliffhanger moments. It's almost to the point where I'm hoping one particular short story will sell just so I'll have an excuse to read it aloud in all the different voices.
And, of course, this translates into reading other work aloud as well. (Seriously, if you can read Hippos Go Berserk without hamming it up, something's gone wonky.)
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go announce that the blog post is DONE! and strike a dramatic pose. (It's Sunday after a long and exhausting con. I think I'm allowed a dramatic pose or two.)