Wendy, who blogs at Retirement-Online.com commented that reading your writing out loud before you submit it is a great way to catch typos and other problems.
That’s always been one of my favorite tips too.
And she’s right too when she says it’s not easy at first – the first few times I tried it I was horribly embarrassed by the sound of my own voice, even though there was no one around to hear except the cat!
But it quickly became apparent my ear could hear things my eye couldn’t or wouldn’t see.
Some of that, of course, was just because I’m so familiar with a piece I’ve written. I know what to expect so I tend to skip over it.
There is, however, I’m sure more to it than that.
A major reason reading a piece out loud works is because it slows me down. Slowing down is always a help when I’m editing. Not only do I spot typos but I hear places where I’ve left things out or added extraneous stuff in. Awkward sentence structure and poor word choice also show up. Consistency, or the lack of it become apparent when I read the writing to my self loud enough so I can hear it.
For book-length manuscripts, especially when it’s emotionally charged material, I actually record myself. I hear things as I read aloud, and when I listen while reading along, I find even more that needs to be done.
Thanks Wendy for reminding me of one of my favorite writing tips.
What’s yours? Leave it in comments and it will probably show up here.
Write well and often,
Image from http://www.sxc.hu