Random Writing Tip – Reading Aloud

I got a little behind and skipped a few weeks. Sorry! For once I have the best excuse ever. I’ve been writing! I’ve also been doing critiques. During the last two critique group meetings a very important tip came up. Reading aloud. Have you ever read through a scene and known something was off, but couldn’t quite put your finger on it? Try reading it aloud to yourself and/or having someone else read it to you.

You could revise your work many times and still have something that comes across awkwardly. Speaking the words could help you catch this. Even worse, a lot of writers rely on spell check, which could let a word you didn’t intend get through.

For me it works best when I print the piece out. Not only does that make me see it differently but then I can hand it to my husband/kid/whoever to follow-up. Also, I have an easier time seeing mistakes on paper. I call it red pen syndrome. If I have the red pen out, I will find mistakes that I missed looking at a screen.

Another use for using this method is to make sure you’re writing to the correct audience. The story I’ve been bringing to be critiqued is middle grade, which is not my normal genre. I keep unintentionally slipping into word and phrase usage that kids either will not understand or don’t use. Someone mentioned I should try reading aloud. I haven’t been with this story, shame on me! If I had, I would have had an easier time noticing that. That will teach me to forget my own advice.

Try it out and see if it helps you. Have you already been doing this? If so, does it work for you?

Happy writing!

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9 comments

  1. My husband often has to ask who I’m talking to or “What are you watching? That sounds good!” When I tell him I’m reading aloud, he knows to leave me be. I’ve struggled over the years with allowing others to read unfinished works – thinking, “It’s not perfect yet. They’re going to think that I’m a horrible writer,” rather than, “I bet they’ll feel honored to help me out because they know how private and personal writing is to me.”
    So, for me, yes, I read aloud. But…. I’m still working on letting others do the same with my rough works.
    Good luck with your story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Letting others read what I write was really hard for me too, but I’m so happy that I finally did it. I started small is a flash fiction piece and worked my way up to joining the critique group. What made me try was making the decision that even if it’s horrible I need to know. I’ll admit to being terrified that first time though! I promise it gets easier.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess that has to be true – that’s how I feel about blogging at least. Even doing this (though I feel that I’m a pretty good writer) is terrifying. But what’s the point of writing if you never share it? If you never let someone else grow with you? Or cry? Or laugh?
        Maybe I’ll give it a shot on Nanowrite. Even going on there this past November was a big deal for me. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Funny; the last post I published I would never have done it. I don’t want anyone in my house to hear it. And yet I published it LOL.
    I will do it in the future to see how much it helps πŸ™‚

    Letting others read what I write I guess is hard for everyone; you’re giving up your baby, the one you’ve been nursing… it’s hard to give it away. And at least until someone’s read it, nobody will say it’s not good enough πŸ˜› . That’s why I blog πŸ˜‰ to make sure that I let others read what I write. It’s terrifying and yet so rewarding when people take the time to comment and give feedback πŸ™‚ .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s still hard for me to let others read my writing, but especially when I branch out into things I’ve never done. Posting my first 100 word story almost gave me a panic attack! That’s why I try to write in other genres sometimes.Like you said, it’s so rewarding that it’s worth it. Plus, each time I share something, I less worried the next time.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t quite read aloud. I have such a vivid imagination I ‘hear’ it in my head. It’s not a good look too space off though. πŸ™‚ I also like to run through scenes in my head as though they were films – this is a good way of establishing how well you’ve described a scene; if your descriptions are lacking you will not be able to fully imagine it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh, absolutely agree and in particular, if you are writing poetry. Reading it aloud helps to understand where the rhythm works and where it doesn’t; for me, I can read poems in my head and they work but find that when I am reading them aloud, I trip over words that are so obviously, glaringly wrong for the poem.

    Good advice, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a tip I picked up last year, tried, and found it really works. I feel a little silly reading it aloud sometimes, but I am slowly getting more comfortable – of course, I have to make sure no one else is around. πŸ™‚

    I also print my writing out. Definitely makes the editing process easier. I agree with all of what you said there.

    Liked by 1 person

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