Monday, March 14, 2011

Best Editing Idea I Ever Had

My husband has to drive me half an hour to and from work every day, and we drive an hour to his parent’s house every weekend. That’s a lot of driving. I suggested we read books while driving, and he said we should read my book.

Light bulb.

I’ve heard from multiple experts that reading your work out loud is a great tool for noticing errors. Not only did I read the whole thing out loud, but Andrew stopped me every time he had a question or comment, no matter how miniscule. Sometimes I noticed him hesitate while I was reading and I asked him what he was thinking.

This was the most thorough edit I could have asked for. Andrew was a superb reader and he helped improve my book more than I ever would have guessed.

I think critique groups should read each other’s work out loud.

If you have the rare opportunity to read your work out loud to anyone who’s willing and able to help, I can’t tell you how highly I recommend it.


Blog Post of the Day: This article is brilliant and I highly recommend reading the whole thing: Ten Mistakes Writers Don't See but Can Easily Fix.

5 comments:

  1. I read my work out loud to myself whenever I have a free minute. Sometimes I record myself reading it and listen to it later to see if I notice anything I didn't catch during the read.

    I've never read it to someone else, though. I imagine it'd be pretty helpful :)

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  2. This is an awesome idea! I will have to try and find someone who is willing to listen. LOL.

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  3. new GFC follower! love the blog and i'm looking forward to reading more of your stuff! i always read my stuff out loud and its such a big help!

    follow me?!
    http://lindsaycummingsblog.blogspot.com/

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  4. Do you ever get self-conscious when you read your work to others? I certainly do. I can't even be in the same room if someone is reading my stuff. I know lots of writers feel the same way, so the question is how to deal with it.

    Any thoughts?

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  5. Well Reece, I've always been pretty self-confident with my work. Often I'll send my book to friends thinking it's perfect and later do a huge rewrite and then regret sending the old copy.

    I think the key is humility. We aren't going to be perfect and we should never expect to be perfect. Just think of all the published books people complain about. Laugh off your mistakes: if you can laugh it off, it means you know better now and you can be proud of that growth.

    If people read your book and hate it, that's great feedback. We need haters to help us get better.

    I'd recommend sending a chapter or two to a forum with people you don't know and will never see again. You can cry, get used to critiques, learn about your flaws, and anticipate problems your writing will have in the future. I use Absolute Write Water Cooler. Those people are honest almost to the point of cruelty, but they're very helpful.

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