Hearing The Words

Apr 9, 2010 | 0 comments

My Unsung Hero

For me, a writing project is never ‘finished’ until I’ve heard it read aloud.  No matter how many times I silently read a manuscript double-checking for spelling and punctuation errors or for over-use of words and expressions, it isn’t until I hear my own words spoken aloud that I can really fine-tune my writing.
       Reading aloud myself  is helpful to an extent, but ideally someone else does the reading and I can listen – stopping the reader now and then to make a note in the margin or to underline a passage.  In my case, my husband Nyel is the unsung hero. Recently, while reading proofs of my upcoming Arcadia book, Oysterville, he actually lost his voice!  Now that is dedication!
       Part of having another person read has to do with the old adage “a second set of eyes.”  Nyel often catches errors that I’ve overlooked. But, more importantly, it allows me to listen for that elusive quality that critics and writing instructors call “voice.”  The uncharacteristic phrases or stilted – sounding transitions that just aren’t ‘me’ are easier to hear than to see. 
        Even then, as every writer knows, the errors pop out when publication occurs.  It’s one of Murphy’s Laws.


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