Steps In Between

Celaine Charles ~ My journey as a writer ~ Author site:

Writing Out Loud

Writing Out Loud – Take Time to Hear Your Words

I used to write in the closet. My story idea hidden between the stored winter coats, a keyboard, and my mind. My family had no idea I was taking the plunge of authorhood. I surely told no friends of my plans to write and publish a book. Discreetly, I swept every piece of description and dialogue into a quiet corner, only for my eyes. That was six years ago.

Today…where’s my megaphone?!

I’m not talking about sharing the news of my author-plans. Although there is a time for that, and I will write about sharing-the-news-of-a-new-book-to-the-world in the near future. Right now, I am revealing the importance of reading your manuscript aloud to hear exactly what you’re writing.

It took me several years to realize this one amazing writer’s tip: Read your lines out loud—OUT LOUD!

I started with a whisper…and wow! In my hidden closet, muffled with boxes of hats and gloves (excellent sound proofing), I began to read my scenes. Even using my softest voice, my words leapt off the page with gusto. I could hear where there were problems in pacing or in how my characters responded to obstacles. I caught dull sways in the action, or too many dialogue and action tags. I found purply-fluffy descriptions (that I secretly love but know readers hate). And, most importantly, I heard the bits and pieces of a real story coming together.

I could fix the problems in my draft because they were active on the page, instead of only in my head.

I’ve since ventured from the closet to my writing office (a gift from my family), and I don’t even bother to whisper anymore. I am fully reading my story scenes out loud with a regular voice, sometimes even animated. If I’m too tired to read myself, I use the robot voice on my computer – it’s under the WORD’s Review tab, entitled, Read Aloud-Speech. I use the female setting and laugh at the funny ways she pronounces some of the names in my book, but the point is – I can hear everything.

This has changed the way I edit and revise my work. My new story ideas are perfectly content tucked behind the figurative closet door in my mind. But once it’s a manuscript, or at least several scenes into becoming one, it’s time to hear the story come alive.

Save yourself in editing and revision time by reading your story aloud.

Happy Writing (because at least you’re writing),

Celaine Charles, September 20, 2020

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Categories: fiction, Thoughts on writing...

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2 replies

  1. Now I know why your parents rarely hear from you, you are hidden somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

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