Well, S.K. is on vacation so you’re stuck with another blog post from me. (Hope you’re enjoying the beach, S.K. Without me. Yep…enjoying mojitos on the beach, with the waving palm trees and parrots……without me….). (I’m only slightly jealous. Slightly.)
Anyway. Angsting aside, I just read a fabulous blog post by Jane Friedman called Why Take the Time to Read Your Work Out Loud? As the title suggests, she talks about how important it is for writers to read their works aloud as part of the editing/polishing process. Most of the comments that I read concur with her argument…as did I.
I completely agree with what Jane Friedman and her commenters said about reading aloud. Kind of like changing the font and the page layout, reading out loud makes you see the text of the story in a different way. I think maybe your brain receives the information differently when it is heard rather than read. I can read the same chapter twenty times, skimming it over in my word processor, but when I start reading it aloud, all of a sudden I hear the poetry of the text (for lack of a better word). How it flows, how the sounds fall, how the sentences roll off the tongue…or get stuck on it like a piece of dog fur. Like the others noted, I get a sense of where I get bored, or where the descriptions don’t work, or the dialogue sounds clunky or repetitive…or even those places where I accidentally wrote in inconsistencies (“Wait, she’s sitting down, but a paragraph ago she was standing up….”). It’s also great for catching typos that I would otherwise unconsciously ignore.
But the post and comments got me thinking about something else.