Reading Aloud by Sarah Morgan and Giveaway!

We have author Sarah Morgan visiting. She's here to share how to edit. Her latest release is AN INVITATION TO SIN and there's a giveaway to one commenter!

Sarah on Twitter and Facebook.

Over to Sarah now...

Reading aloud as part of the editing process.

 

Writers are almost always readers.  We love the written word and when we’re not producing it ourselves, we’re likely to be reading something another writer has produced.

 

Reading aloud can be a powerful editing tool for the writer. You can hear how dialogue sounds (you spot flaws so much faster when you’re speaking the words rather than hearing them in your head), and you can listen to the rhythm of your prose. Do the sentences flow and reflect the mood of the scene? Is something pulling you out of the story? Do you need to use a different word? Shorter sentences to convey escalating tension? Are you repeating yourself? Would your character really use the words you’ve put into his mouth?

 

Maybe you’re thinking, ‘I do read my work, but I read it in my head’, but it’s easy to skim over words on a page when reading silently. You’re reading quickly, you know what you think you wrote so you miss mistakes. Speaking the words helps a writer identify typos and continuity errors.

 

Wherever you are in your current manuscript, pause and read the last chapter aloud. Try it. Then add reading aloud to your editing toolbox.

 

Happy writing!

Sarah

35 comments:

  1. Fabulous advice, Sarah. But my family think I'm nuts when I talk to myself! I have to do it when I'm alone.
    Wonderful book, as usual! xx

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    1. talking aloud is just part of the process :)
      Glad you enjoyed the book
      Sarah
      xx

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  2. Reading a manuscript out loud is the best way to see how it flows. It's almost like music.

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    1. Sherry, YES it is like music. Exactly
      Sarah
      xx

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  3. I always read my ms out loud. And since I work in my bedroom office, hubby has to use ear plugs when I'm working and he's reading. :)

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    1. Stina, earplugs are the best invention ever!!
      Sarah
      xx

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  4. I also read my ms aloud--usually to my husband. You pick up more when there's a sentence construction issue.

    But there's another thing I think writers should do, especially when we're at the finishing stage. Have software read it to you. Human brains miss obvious things. Word 2010 has a speak feature--terrible voice and the pronunciation can be weird at times (like pointed pronounced like a French word) but it will pick up things your eyes miss. Like marital when it should be martial. There was another word that I and three editors had missed--until it was read to me.

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    1. Donna, great suggestion! Thank you so much
      Sarah
      xx

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  5. I try to remember to read aloud as I'm editing too. I also like having my Kindle read to me. It really does help with the flow!

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    1. Jemi, I use my kindle as part of my work process too!
      Sarah
      xx

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  6. Reading it out loud is a good way to find dialogue that sucks! If it sounds unnatural when you read it, it's probably bad.

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    1. Alex, I agree! Dialogue can sound so different when you actually say it!
      Sarah
      xx

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  7. I always read my work out loud. It really helps.

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    1. Kelly, so glad I'm not alone
      Sarah
      xx

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  8. Good advice, Sarah. If I don't dialogue aloud, I at least ask myself if someone would really say that.

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    1. That's the key to good dialogue, isn't it? And so important for revealing character
      Sarah
      xx

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  9. That is an EXCELLENT tip. I tend to only read aloud when I'm home alone, but I should really make sure I'm home alone more often. Congratulations on the new release!

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    1. Nicki, I know what you mean - it is embarrassing when you're reading aloud and suddenly realise you have all the windows open and the neighbours are staring!
      Thanks for the congrats. I'm very excited about this book!
      Sarah
      xx

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  10. Great advice Sarah, makes sense too... I'm just a reader but I'm forever telling the kids to read out loud what they wrote for assignments :)

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  11. I'm editing something. Yes, I'm reading aloud as I go. Thanks for this post, Sarah. It's great to read your editing tips.

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    1. Good luck with your editing Maria!
      Sarah
      xx

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  12. GREAT advice! I do that as my final run-though. It really does make a difference.

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    1. Glad I'm not alone Jennifer!
      Sarah
      xx

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  13. Oh Sarah Thanks so much for posting this. I am not an author, but I am a blogger. I started to read my reviews back to myself and thought there was something wrong with me ... LOL ... good to hear I am doing something correct. Would love to hear any other tips you might have.

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    1. Nancy, glad you find it useful too! My only other tip is to just keep getting words on the page :) They can be edited once they're down there.
      Have a great weekend!
      Sarah
      xx

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  14. It makes perfect sense to read aloud. I haven't tried it yet, but intend doing so...
    Writer In Transit

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    1. Michelle, hope you find it useful and good luck!
      Sarah
      xx

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  15. reading aloud really does make a huge difference.

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  16. Very good advice. Sometimes I get my device to read it to me too. The electronic voice makes it very obvious when something is wrong.

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    1. Such a great idea Charmaine!
      Sarah
      xx

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  17. Reading aloud. Good advice. Jody, The Medicare Mom

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  18. Have a great weekend Jody!
    Sarah
    xx

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  19. I've heard reading out loud really works, but I haven't tried it yet, since I personally hate reading things out loud. LOL! It's definitely good advice, though. :)

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