THE BEST WAY TO EDIT YOUR WRITING? READ IT OUT LOUD!
WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO EDIT YOUR WRITING? READ IT OUT LOUD!
Part 2 of #13 in the Memoirabilia podcast series on How to Write Memoir
based on the book, “Don’t Write Your MEmoir without ME’
If my first rule of writing and editing is “Don’t Edit while Writing”, my second is “Edit your writing by reading it out loud!”
I cannot emphasize strongly enough how much easier and quicker editing becomes, at least in the initial stages, when you read ALOUD what you have written. I have been doing it throughout writing this book. I may not do it the day I write a chapter or two, as I don’t edit while writing. But the next time I return to the script, I read the previous work aloud.
This has become an invaluable part of my personal editing process. I both see and hear mistakes; I catch sentences that are just a bit too long to be completely coherent; I hear where I’ve repeated words more than once in longer paragraphs; my ears know when something isn’t sitting properly or isn’t saying what I want it to. Reading aloud to myself is the sharpest editing tool I have. My eyes never spot the flaws as quickly as my ears do.
How do other writers feel about reading what you’ve written aloud?
“Print it out; read it out loud and edit again”. (Stephen King)
“Good writers of prose must be part poet, always listening to
what they write.” (William Zinsser)
“As the story moves forward, I read my work aloud to hear how it sounds. And for good reason. I can read my work silently and think it reads just fine, but when I hear it, I am often disappointed. In those early stages, the work is one giant ball of challenges: it’s too wordy, it’s lackluster, it’s without emotion, there’s too little dialog, too much dialog, the pacing is off, the sentences are awkward, and so forth” (Pam Munoz Ryan, Author of Esperanza Rising, The Dreamer)
Need more reasons for reading out loud? I give you several more in the rest of Chapter 13. Listen to the full podcast of Chapter 13 above, or invest in yourself and BUY A COPY OF “Don’t Write Your MEmoir without ME’ NOW!
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