Dear Daughter is enduring a bout of bullying at school. Kids can be cruel. Girls can be nasty. Teens…well…they’re teens.
Long story short, she’s been the punchline of a few not-so-funny jokes. Whispered words in the halls, naughty words scratched in her day planner and one extremely derogatory remark scribbled on a teacher’s white board.
Words can hurt.
As writers and story-tellers, we know first hand the power behind them. They can make us laugh and cry, shout, scream or moan. They shock us, terrify us, amuse us and frustrate us. Words are magical.
But which is more so? The written word or the spoken word?
Is hearing a story more potent than reading one? Is that why voice is so important in a great piece of fiction, because the characters themselves leap off the page and into our imaginations?
It’s likely why picture books are so beloved to both children and adults alike. Not only can we read the words, but we can see the story come to life while feeling the lyrical cadence deep in our soul.
I wonder if that’s why whispered words cut us so deeply? They cannot be ripped up, erased or thrown in the trash. Once spoken, they are a living memory not easily ignored.
Which would you choose: to read and not hear or to hear and not be able to read?