Reading Out Loud

No, I’m not talking about audio books. I’m talking about my writing process. Let me take a step back and explain.

Readers of this blog must realize the creation of a book has many parts and pieces. It begins as inspiration and art when it springs to life. Craft takes over when rereading leads to rewriting, patching and piecing bits of plot, layering in enriching details and dialog. Sometimes it feels like quilting. Really. Things get clipped, moved, or tipped in. In come the beta readers, at least in my process. More snipping and tipping ensues. Once I get the thing to its final form, it is time to polish it.

But wait. Once, I would actually have called it finished at that point and turned it over to the mercies of an editor. Most authors, however, would insist that the last step is to proofread the work top to bottom. I saw no purpose in that. Proofreading and I have a long, ugly history. I have job evaluations that describe my inability to proofread in stark terms. I just don’t see individual words, much less punctuation. What, I thought, was the point? Then I learned the trick.

Read it out loud. Word by misspelled or duplicated word. Period by misplaced comma. Awkward construction by incorrect homophone. When I say them, I can see them. I’m generally shocked by how much I find that I hadn’t seen before. Is it perfect? I doubt it. Typos creep in. But my work is much more polished. That’s part of the craft.

These days I don’t hand in a manuscript, at least of a full novel, until I’ve done a final read-through. Out loud. It is slow. It is tedious. But it makes a big difference. Short stories and blog posts sometimes get away from me without the read-a-loud. That’s often a mistake.

I do what I can. 

You can find the results here: https://www.carolinewarfield.com/bookshelf/

About Caroline Warfield

Traveler, adventurer, writer of historical romance. Enamored of owls, books, history, and beautiful gardens (but not the actual act of gardening).
This entry was posted in Soul Mate Publishing, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Reading Out Loud

  1. Cindy Tomamichel says:

    I use the read aloud function on word and find it helps tremendously to hear it. Clunky phrasing and dialogue stand out.

  2. sueberger3 says:

    Yeah. I don’t turn it in anymore until I read it out loud. It’s a great technique.

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