Monday, April 16, 2012

Reading Out Loud

Wow...OK, I know I said I'd do a post a week, and now it's been quite awhile since my last post (I'll have to be more timely in the future), but I would like to talk about reading your own manuscript out loud. I've been doing this for my non-thesis manuscript called UNGIFTED, and it's such an incredible exercise. It's amazing the things you catch when you actually hear the words. Not only did I catch sentences and phrases that were a mouthful to say (since I stumbled over them), but I even caught some minor inconsistencies (like what characters were wearing). I was surprised by that last one. Another big one is repeated words. These can be tough to catch when you read silently, but when you read your work out loud, you actually hear any repeated words; they're like little red flags.

That being said, reading UNGIFTED out loud is the final step before I start to query it. I think this exercise is best done right before querying, because the things you catch are minor or small-picture rather than big-picture. This book has gone through several drafts and has received lots of feedback and it's in the best shape I can get it in at the moment from a story or "big-level" perspective. But every time I read another chapter out loud, I'm so glad I did! OK, off to read another...

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