All writers edit. How we edit may differ. Some of us might play music while reading through the work in progress. Some may need complete silence. The purpose of editing is to re-read the work written in hopes of catching mistakes or improving the rhythm of the sentences.

     How many times have you read through your work and thought, sounds good, only to have a critique partner point out that you repeated the same word twice? You have tons of run on sentences. You called your character Lori in the first paragraph and Cindy in the second. I have found that reading stories aloud helps highlight these types of mistakes.

     Our brains are much quicker than our mouths. When we scan through works without reading aloud we tend to see what is supposed to be there instead of what actually is. Last night a Facebook friend sent me a brain test where all the words were jumbled but somehow I was actually able to make out exactly what the sentence said. Eg. Our M1ND5 C4N DO 4M4Z1NG 7H1NG5. Were you able to read that sentence? Chances are you were. This is the exact type of thing that happens when we are editing silently.  

     Reading aloud slows us down. When we read our words out loud we are forced to read more slowly and pay closer attention to what we have written.

     Reading aloud also allows us to hear the rhythm of our words. Words should have a flow and read effortlessly. There is nothing worst than having an interruption of your flow. It will stop a reader dead in their tracks and take away from the story.

     Editing aloud might not help you catch each and every mistake but it will most likely help you catch a few more than you would have.

     Do you have any editing tips you would like to share?





Filed under critique, editing, writer's life, writers, writing, Writing

7 responses to “EDIT ALOUD

  1. I do this at least once with every novel. It’s gives you a different perspective and helps you find awkward places or places that don’t make sense.

  2. I read aloud and I also load my manuscripts into my Kindle and have it read to me. I catch so many more mistakes by hearing my WIPs.

  3. I edit a week after writing the draft and then I put it away for almost a year. I need some time away from the ms or else I think it is the best thing ever and doesn’t need to be changed!
    I also came here from the A-Z Blogging challenge and I look forward to what you plan to do with that and always enjoy making new bloggy friends as well 🙂

    • Maribeth

      I have another writer friend who does something similiar with her writings. I think if I put them away for a year, I’d lose the motivation for them. I like them to linger for a few weeks even a month or so then dive back in. Hopefully I will meet the challenge from A to Z. I’m a bit nervous!

  4. Merritt | LiveSimplyLove

    I try to edit out loud as well…and also like to let a little time pass. My deadlines are frequent so “a little time” is often just overnight, but it’s better than nothing!

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