If I had to describe myself, it would be in a word that has many meanings with a complexity which falls off the tongue.
A word made up of many elements, is deceptive in appearance, and creates an illusion from the imagination.
My word would be Phantasmagoric. ~Summer Ross

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Word to the writer: "Listen"

After I have completed the polish and shine I read the entire piece of writing out loud. You heard me, out loud, to myself, to friends, or family. Depends on who might be there. This might sound ridicules, but truthfully it does help. When I read mine aloud it helps me find errors like sentence structure mistakes and shows me if something sounds awkward or perhaps I put words in backwards.


See your ears are trained for this already, so mistakes can be easily heard. When I first did this, I thought it was silly, but the more I managed to read even my academic papers aloud, the more errors I could find on my own and fix immediately.


As you read aloud fix problems in the process and do not be afraid to start over rereading from the beginning. Your ears will do the helping of what your eyes might pass over and brain automatically fixes. Make sure to listen to yourself closely.


This can also help you find plot holes within your story. It can help you find misplaced words and allow you to hear how dialogue is spoken.

 If you would like more information on this please look at this site: Edit documents by reading aloud


Next weeks word to the writer is "Evaluation"

I have updated my blogfests page again

23 comments:

Dan said...

You're right about right about reading out loud. It changes the whole tenor of the words. Once you get past feeling weird about reading your own words out loud, especially if there are other people around, it's really a useful tool.

Also, I wanted you to know I cancelled the blogfest. I'm just not going to have the free time I thought I would. I appreciate you supporting it by promoting it. I'm sorry you did that for nothing.

Lindz said...

I make a regular habit of reading out loud, and I agree, it does make all the difference. Once a month my friends and I have Writer's Night, we get a chance for good feedback, as well as getting a feel for how the words sound out loud.

Pacing is huge for me, but its something I'd never really discover unless I read out loud I have serious comma issues, so if I find myself taking too many breath in one sentence, I know I have an issue. Reading out loud also helps me discover how effective or honest the dialogue is. There are so many reason to read out loud, its one of my favorite tools!

gideon 86 said...

Hi, Summer,

You are so right about this! I always read my novel out loud. It's amazing how much you can miss in regular editing.

It also makes the editing process more fun... yes, fun. I like to edit. I am almost finished my first editing run through on my ms. I am amazed at how quickly this one is going. Only fifty pages left. Whoohoo!

Michael

B.E.T. said...

Oooh, I like this! I've never truthfully done this technique of editing before, but I think I'm gonna try it after I get through the chunky process of revision...

LTM said...

you're right. This is the absolute best way to make sure your writing is authentic--esp. dialogue. Great one~ :o) <3

Margo Benson said...

I'm so glad you posted this,I think it's a great technique. As a reader, I can hear what I'm readng, if that makes sense and so reading aloud seems a natural step for me.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I read out loud with my test readers. Great way to catch crappy dialogue!

Erinn said...

I know you do a lot of blog fests- My friends are doing one--- it's page 99... you post page 99 of your WIP.

Thought you'd like to know about this one.

http://hddodson.blogspot.com/2011/01/blogfest.html

Carolyn V. said...

That's great advice. I find way too many errors when I read outloud. I guess that's a good thing. =D

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

I am a big fan of reading aloud. I have always done it. Our brains are too good at "filling in the blanks". It's so easy to skim over something and miss it a hundred times because your brain know what should be there. If you read it, you will stumble over it and catch it.

Elena Solodow said...

Even though it's hard to hear those words spoken out, it's so true how easily you can hear the issues. I try to do it as often as I can.

Indigo said...

This idea was a little tricky for me being deaf. However my husband is a willing guinea pig and does it read my writing out loud and points out the nuances. (Hugs)Indigo

The Golden Eagle said...

I read the first chapter of my WIP out loud, just to hear what it was like, and I caught a lot of things that I wouldn't have otherwise--it really does work!

Rachel Morgan said...

I've heard this said before, I know it makes a lot of sense and does work, but I feel so RANDOM reading my stuff out loud!!
Ok. I have to get over that. I will read my work out loud... I will read my work out loud...

N. R. Williams said...

This is so true Summer. I've been practicing this for years. Another good test is to read it to your critique partners.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

TK Richardson said...

Summer, this is great advice. It's time consuming, but so worth it.

Jules said...

Oh yes, this works/helps! But now my dogs want bedtime stories :)

Thank you SO much for the kind comments and support lately.

FAIRY HUGS!
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

M Pax said...

Great tip. I often read to my cats. Periodically I go read my work at open mic. Once over the nerves, it's fun.

Old Kitty said...

I'm always told I ought to do this - but I seriously cannot do this - I don't know why - well yes I do - I absolutely hate the sound of my voice - I drone on and people fall asleep! Seriously!!! But I guess there's no harm in reading out loud to my cat and taping myself? Hmmm. That's a thought!! Thanks so much Summer Ross!! take care
x

Caroline said...

My dialogue and the flow of my writing improved immediately when I started doing this.

I read my WIP aloud to myself.

I let TextAloud read it to me in what I call My Robot Voices.

Then I let my husband read it aloud to me like a bedtime story. Sometimes, it's when he reads it that I learn the most. You have to have some of that cringe factor -- another person's eyes can really throw a spotlight on awkward or corny scenes. I also get to hear the sentences he stumbles on, so I can fix those.

Great reminder!

Damyanti said...

I do this for each of my stories. Invaluable editing and proofing tool.

Pk Hrezo said...

I always read my dialogue aloud. It's the only surefire way to make it real!

Carol Kilgore said...

This is excellent advice. It's something I've learned to do, too. It really does work.

I heart comments~~ You all Rock my world!

Make your own