Thursday 23 December 2010


Read everything you write out loud. This takes a lot of time but it is time well spent. Only when you read it aloud can you read like a reader. Scanning over the text, writers often read what they think it says there.
There are five reasons to read aloud:

1      Mistakes are hard to spot, whether they are typos, improper punctuation, incorrect words; they are easier to find when the work is read aloud.

2      Language is lyrical but it shouldn’t turn into a full-blown musical. Assonance and alliteration are poetic but they can drag the reader out of your novel. 

3      Reading aloud helps to develop a consistent Voice: your style of writing.

4      Characterisation is enhanced when you read your work aloud. The main characters can be portrayed more effectively when they have a recognisable voice too.

5      Reading aloud to yourself or others; making videos to listen to your delivery from the perspective of your audience: are all great preparation for the readings you will asked to participate in, when you are a published author ;)

Whether you are at the start of your new WIP or in the final stage of editing: reading aloud is an effective tool.

I spent yesterday - when I should have been blogging - reading. I love it when a book sucks me in. I love Charlaine Harris' writing.


    1. Thanks Elaine for the reminder to read out loud. Hopefully soon I can get that close to my writings, as in, really being the writer behind the scenes. Sounds like you are right in the cocoon of writing. Here's wishing you also all the joy at Xmas. Hope to catch up more with your blog soon.

      Jacqueline Howett Author of The Greek Seaman.

    2. Yay for reading it out loud! I'm a huge fan of finding mistakes this way. i often read out loud to my manly man, I'm sure its a tedious process for him, but it helps me. good post!

    3. ...every time I'm "forced" into another edit/read for the upcoming release, I read aloud all sentences I find to be "under scrutiny." Hearing it as opposed to running the story through your mind can highlight those glaring errors we tend to miss at times.
      Great post:)

    4. These are great reasons. I try to read my manuscript and older books aloud.

    5. I completely agree that reading aloud is an invaluable tool. I can't count how many mistakes I've spotted that way. Thanks for the reminder :)

    6. I used to read my stuff into a recorder and listen to it. Now that I'm married, Tim reads my stuff and it's a great tool. Love it.

    7. Happy Christmas Elaine - hope you have a wonderful day.


    8. Hi Nancy and MS
      The simplest tools are effective ;) Reading out loud, even to yourself makes such a difference.

      Hi Jacqueline
      I like the idea of being closer to the WIP than you were when you were writing it. Good luck with the process. :)

      Hi Summer and Ivy
      You are both so lucky that your partner will listen for you. I only get away with single sentences. ;)

      Hi Elliot
      It is funny how reading aloud works. I find the punctuation often changes when I read things aloud.

      Hi Clarissa
      As well as re-reading pivotal lines - or sections - from novels, I have been known to stop and read parts aloud. A really well written section can jolt me out of the book - in a good way. ;)

      Hi Dominic
      I hope you had a very Happy Christmas :)