#phonar Spoken Narrative

Record a personal story to share with the group.

You should speak your story in person and it’s telling should last approx. 2 minutes (if you prefer to record and publish in advance, that’s fine, otherwise it’s delivered live in session and stays within the closed group).

You should especially consider your choice of story/subject, your audience and your verbal delivery – in terms of your script, language, pace and intonation. No accompanying soundscape.

I had two stories in mind. One being this and another about my battle with Crohn’s disease for seven years. Although I have had long enough to come to terms with it, I still can’t find words to tell people I’m close to, let alone for an audio piece. So I chose this story. It seems rather typical that a story I remember well is one surrounding the theme of death. However, the one real human death I have had difficulty to come to terms with really had an element of hope in it. I wanted to paint the picture of what happened that day and how I feel now about it.

Like in written stories, the author has to paint the whole picture, so that the reader is immersed in the narrative: where they can relate to the environment depicted. Ian McEwan does this very effectively in Enduring Love, describing the weather, the food for the picnic etc so that the readership is really ‘in the moment’ so to speak. In spoken narrative, you have to follow the same sort of principle. My Dad listens to a lot of radio stories as he works in the garage so I have heard spoken storytelling before. I wanted the listener to feel the temperature (crisp and cold), hear the footsteps walking over frozen snow, have the sudden warmth; feel the silence with talking about the empty school ground. To echo the silence I deemed it necessary to take pauses and slow diction. It was a delicate moment in my life that I wasn’t prepared to tell any other way. I equally didn’t want it to be too depressing, because it wasn’t, it was relieving. I know that every listener will have or in the future experience a relative’s death; this delicacy is universal and I wanted that to be poignant.

2 thoughts on “#phonar Spoken Narrative

  1. Well done Kate! Your tone of voice in this works really well, as it brings across a lot of emotion from that day. Even though its a sad story, I like that it ends on a positive note where a piece of your nanna shines through. A memory you’ll treasure forever.

  2. Such a moving story. The way you describe your Grandfathers final goodbyes is especially touching, its an unimaginable thing to have to go through. The piece is so coherent and precise in its context and detail, you almost seem detached in your re-telling of the story. Well that was my reading of it. Great story-teller!

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