Writing Tip #18

Read your work aloud. As you can imagine, in a house full of noise — crazy kids running up and down stairs, chasing one another — reading my work aloud  helps me focus and block out all the hubbub. But even when my children are in school, I find myself reading aloud. Why? During quiet time, reading aloud helps me smooth out ripples in the narrative, such as awkwardly phrased sentences, and also to find silly mistakes, including tense changes or incorrect pronoun/antecedent agreement, that I may not find otherwise. (Keep in mind that I’m not shouting as I go, but talking softly or whispering.) And my reading aloud doesn’t stop with my novel. I do it with essays, term papers, emails, letters, even texts. I actually do it all the time. Including right now.

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4 thoughts on “Writing Tip #18

  1. That’s a great tip. I think I’ll try that for myself. Thanks for sharing. Just beware, you know what you’re doing but others might think senility has set in early! ha ha

  2. Yep, gotta read aloud.

    I’ve been reading chapters from my WIP on Book Island in Second Life for the last 9 weeks. Even though the manuscript was a “clean-draft” much good has been happening because of reading it to others :-)

  3. The ‘senility’ comment made me LOL! It’s true, though… hearing one’s words brings clarity to the written ones. What I’ve found even more effective than reading aloud is reading or transcribing into a recorder and then playing the words back. I do it for articles all the time but for longer works like my novels a text-to-speech app for the computer would be a great investment.

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