However, sometimes it needs to be loud. REALLY LOUD!
At most every workshop I have attended, and definitely every one I have facilitated, a critical part is the writer reading their piece aloud (or having someone read their piece for them). We don't do this to make the reader uncomfortable, though that is an unintended consequence. The most important part is breaking through that translation barrier and matching the written word to the author's intention. Consider the following sentence:
"I will not look foolish today!"As writing, it's simple and straightforward. It has an exclamation point, so we know its voice. Now read it aloud. Did you emphasize one particular word? Emphasizing 'I' makes it a personal statement, while putting a punch on 'look' or 'foolish' gives it a different twist. Even making 'today' stand out can even give it a tongue-in-cheek feel. But just looking at the words, we get none of this. Once we read this aloud, we hear those cues, and we can italicize one of those words and put the punch where it has the effect the writer intended.
Speaking of dialogue, there is a lot we can discover from reading our own dialogue out loud. Most every writer I know has a feeling for the characters and their ways of speaking. Plenty of them read that dialogue aloud and put the full meaning into it - accent, emphasis, dialect, the whole package. It can be a great performance, because they are channeling that character from thought to voice.
Then I ask, "Where are all those parts in the writing?"
It's very easy to overlook this. We write this great dialogue in our thoughts and turn it into writing, but all of the flair and drama is left out. We forget to write about the character's bigger-than-life voice, their wild gestures, their South Side drawl that drops out letters at will. The dialogue is great. The writing, not so much.
If you choose to try a workshop, and read your work aloud, don't be afraid to actually ask them to note whether the words match the voice. When the idea is clear in your head, getting the words right on the page is critical to telling your story. So translate those thoughts, refine those words, and make your story LOUD.