Writing and Toastmasters?

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Writing and Toastmasters?

 Writing and Toastmasters?

Are you’re characters the slyest, slickest, smoothest, sweet talkingest son of a guns and gals you ever had the pleasure to slash, slur, and slander across a page? Yeah mine too.

 As a writer I hole myself up, headphones on, door closed, clearly posted do not disturb sign.  I  furiously tap tap away at the keyboard  creating fictitious dialogue for the variety of charaters that seep out of my mind and onto the pages of my books. I usually leave my writing cave pretty proud of the banter I’ve created, pat myself on the back, and head on down the hall for a cup of coffee.

During a particularly pleasant caffiene laden morning I got to thinking. Am I spending too much time cooped up in my own head. Are people really that quick to turn a phrase without stumbling over there own tongue in the calm, cool, smooth way that I present them. Am I out of touch with the way people in the real world communicate with each other?

These and other questions began their slow drip feed into my prefrontal vortex. So, I thought I’d better find out if I can actually pull off some of these sentences my characters so easily relate on the pages of my books.  Where can I go to see if I’m anywhere near on track to the way sapiens communicate with each other outside of the confines of there family, work space, church, or local boozeria.

 I headed down to the local Toastmasters club in search of answers.  For those that dont know Toastmasters International (TI) is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.

 Writing and Toastmasters? Really? Can joining a speaking club  help you to become a better writer?

After being warmly greeted by a roomful of strangers I was invited to sit in on a meeting. I even got a chance to speak during an excersize called ‘Table Topics’. And lo and behold they gave me a ribbon for turning a topic, on the spot, into a one and a half minute mini speech! And I won again the following week!

Wow! Maybe people really do speak and retort this quickly. Heck if I can do it, certainly the rest of the known world, or at least my peers in this room ought to be pretty good at it. But then again, maybe not.

Over the next few weeks I found that not everybody, myself included, can handle a question thrown at them with the quick wit and elegance shown by the characters in my stories. My own hopes of being an elegant orator were dashed a few weeks ago as the thoughts in my head played their own game of operator on the way out of my mouth. I knew what I wanted to say, but oops, my tongue wagged off in a different direction.

So back to my previous  thought. Will this help me with my writing? Absolutely!

During our meetings we participate in speaking, listening,  and give feedback on mannerisms, vocabulary, vocal variety, pitch, tone , body language and overall confidence and preparedness. The lessons are invaluable, and will go a long way in improving my writing.

Is your dialogue lacking realism? Try venturing out to a speaking club. You might be surprised at how much you will learn about writing!

Have any of you tried speaking to become a better writer?

Now if I can just find a dandy group of editors!

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