Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Reading out loud

This is an excellent post I agree with wholeheartedly.

...and this is the part that particularly resonates for me:

Does the story have velocity?  Do you change rhythm and tone?  Reading out loud will unlock the music in your language.  Are you using that music to its utmost, varying tempo, line length, chapter length?  A symphony written with only gorgeous legato lines will grow dull and begin to grate on the ear, no matter how lovely those lines are.  I think the same is true with language.

When I beta-read for others, or when I'm cleaning up  passage of my own writing, whenever I get stuck on a line or a paragraph that just feels awkward, I start reading out loud. Well, under my breath. I find it's easier to pinpoint the spots that don't work when you can hear your voice stumbling and stretching.

Try it :) I swear you'll be hooked ;)


  1. I love it. Often when I critique, I encourage the writer to read it aloud because it really helps find those natural pauses, the tempo, the beat and to find those lulls in action when things seem a bit too slow.

    And for those who are in love with hearing themselves speak, well, this gives them even more reason to read aloud :-)

  2. Thanks. I stuggle with this. I'll start reading out loud, and then I'm slilent reading. I have to force myself to do it. But it is great advice.

  3. I keep hearing about doing this, but I'm a little hesitant... I guess I just need to man up (or woman up as the case may be) and do it.

  4. I edit at my job - and they hate my editing style (I'm a fiction writer, not a writer of medical papers).

    I find that I often talk to myself through not only those stupid medical papers, but also my work - and then I find that I start dramatically reinterpreting scenes in my head/out loud. I assume most people that see/hear me do this assume that I've lost my marbles.


Type me out a line of Shakespeare or a line of nonsense. Dumb-blonde-jokes & Irish jokes will make me laugh myself silly :)