Creating Two New Novels. Writing One Chapter Weekly. Podcasting As I Go. Welcome to The Experiment.
It’s advice I’ve always heard when writing screenplays: “Read your script out loud. You’ll be able to hear if your characters’ speech and dialogue is natural.”
Ditto when writing thesis and reports, “Read you paper out loud. When you read silently, your mind will put words on the page that should be there even if they are not there. Reading out loud will pick this up.”
So, why am I just now applying this advice to writing novels? One thing podcasting has taught me already: “Reading out loud helps finish the story.”
Reading out loud for editing purposes is turning out to be a goldmine for me. It’s doing so much more than catching a missing comma, a misspelled word, or there vs their vs they’re, but it’s catching the parts of the story I left out. I’ll read a paragraph out loud and think, “This seemed so much more vivid in my mind,” only to realize it’s because I left all of those vivid details in my mind. They never actually made it to the paper. *blush*
Or reading out loud will make my ears tickle for the next piece of information only to realize that at the time of writing, that particular next piece of information didn’t seem all that valuable. Editing out loud, listening to the story as I would a conversation, helps me see what pieces of information adds value and depth to the story and which fall flat.
So, you finished your book or a chapter of it. You put it down and walked away to let it cool off before you start your revision with fresh eyes. I encourage you to edit out loud!