“Ahem.”

I don’t know who in the world would be reading this, or if they would have some sort of written piece they are creating (or refining) like I am, but since I’m sharing:

Read it out loud.

I received and integrated the changes from my last two editors, and I figured that it might be a good idea for me to comb through it yet again before my final person. I printed it out and was going through it with the trusty red pen. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really finding much, so I went looking for another method for editing. I eventually remembered I’d heard that reading out loud is good for finding problems. I do that for single sentences and paragraphs, but I’ve never tried it for an entire manuscript. I don’t typically like the sound of my own voice, but nobody was home and I figured why not.

WOW, is it making a difference. I’m making at least three times the changes I would have otherwise. Whether it’s word choice or how it reads or flows… or the repetition of certain words or phrases or even descriptions; I would have passed over much of it by simply reading silently. I’m not keen on reading 200 pages out loud — I’m not a great actress — but the difference is extraordinary.

Here’s hoping the improvements come across in the final manuscript.