Friday, March 12, 2010

Read It Aloud...

My students get tired of hearing me say this over and over, but it's TRUE - reading your own work out loud is crucial. Whether you're writing an essay about Othello, a poem, a novel, even an important email. There's something about hearing your own words that brings them to life in a different way. And - an even better reason - you'll hear things like missing words, choppiness, and unnatural dialogue that you wouldn't otherwise recognize. If you stumble over a sentence or phrase, you'll know that particular section should be re-worded, clarified, tightened.

Esther Freud states it well: A story needs rhythm. Read it aloud to yourself. If it doesn't spin a bit of magic, it's missing something.

So, there's yet another good reason - even prose should have a sort of rhythm to it, a natural ebb and flow. And reading your work aloud will help you to hear that rhythm (or the lack of it).

1 comment:

  1. It also helps if the author allows someone else to read the material....just as it's a good idea when writing for children. If a kid's book is read aloud to kids, the author can see the child's reaction. Same with adult fiction...if a reader reacts positively there must be some good writing happening.