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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Reading Your Work Aloud is Eye-Opening

I've recommended reading your work aloud before, more than once actually. Why? Because it is a great way to catch problem areas in your writing, especially that all-important first draft.

You'll catch areas where something may not be stated clearly enough for the reader to understand.
Even spelling errors will be noted as you read aloud since your eyes register the words before they slip out of your mouth. 

One of the big things that you'll find is sentences that are too long. It's a common problem for all writers. We are such Word people that we tend to go on and on. If you're running out of breath as you read aloud, that sentence is way too long. As you read, consider whether you have shorter sentences balanced with longer ones. All very long, or all very short, becomes boring. 

What about using too many adjectives? You'll see that problems, too, when you read aloud. You might also catch punctuation errors. If you find the words running on and on, step back and see if the sentence would read better with some commas, or a semi-colon, or whether it should have a question mark rather than a period.

If you are writing a poem, definitely read it aloud. You'll see rhythm problems, perhaps repetition of words and more. 

Whatever it is that you've written, it could sound like a completely different piece than you originally intended after the 'aloud' exercise. On the other hand, it might sound even better than you thought. 
Do try this step in the editing process. I think you'll be surprised at how eye-opening  it is.


  1. Another way to "hear" your writing is to have someone else read it to you. It's an eye-opener.

    1. Hadn't thought of that, Gloria. Thanks for the added tip.