I have been thinking lately about what might distinguish one story from another. I determined that some stories, like those of Dr. Seuss work best when read aloud so that the listener can hear the music of the rhymes.
Other stories are better when the listener has the benefit of voice of the reader adding inflections to the words that the author intended but sometimes don’t come through the typeface on the page.
Stories that are read aloud also allow the reader to use different voices to the characters which increases the realism for the hearer.
I remember the first time I heard a book read allowed as an adult. I was immediately hooked on the medium and could not wait for that time each day when I could hear the next chapter read to me. It transported me back to when I was a child and heard stories read aloud to me.
I am also a huge fan of old time radio. There are decades of recordings of the “Golden Age” of radio where each program was essentially a story read aloud dramatically with the added benefit of sound effects. I have spent many hours under the spell of “The Shadow”, “Fibber McGee & Molly” and many others.
I like to think that Bible stories fit into this same category. The stories are real and too often we turn off our minds to the action in the stories simply because we’ve read or heard the stories so many times. We tune out and no longer become engaged with the characters and the lessons intended.
When I write a story to tell in Sunday School or at AWANA or even to my Friday Night Street Ministry audience, I try to take the audience back into the life of the story. I am telling as though it were the first time for me again. I try to get inside the story so we can smell the dust in the wind, feel the sand between our toes or the splash of the wave.
I write my stories to be read aloud. I write them so that, when I read them, I can inject (with my voice) real human feeling into them. I don’t always succeed but that is my goal.
One person that knows me well, read the stories in my book “The Kid Inside Bible Stories” and said that they could hear my voice in the words that they read. They could imagine me reading the story aloud. Wow! That was exciting for me to hear.
If you pick up my book, I would challenge you to read the stories out loud (and preferably to a child). Then write a comment about how that went. Here’s the link: