“Say it. Out Loud.” –Edward Cullen, pale, ice cold, and slightly belligerent boyfriend.
Do you read your manuscripts aloud?
Lately, as part of the
ninth circle of hell revision process, I’ve been reading each chapter aloud as a final pass-check before I move on to revising the next chapter (and the next, and the next. Good Lord, what demon possessed me to write 36 chapters??). Even though I have effectively read the chapter a gazillion times, the read-aloud pass always brings revisions that make it more pleasing to the ear (also: very good for catching repeats, in words or phrases).
I think this is especially important to do in kidlit. Because these stories WILL be read aloud, or at least there’s a strong possibility of it. Maybe not for the older teen novels, but anything younger than that could be read aloud by parents or children.
Mighty Mite reads his stories aloud to me, as he works on improving his reading skills, and I’m always amazed at how even a 7 year old can put the proper cadence into a well written sentence. And sometimes he rewrites on the fly, changing a clunky sentence into the smoother version that it should have been (hey! even published novels aren’t flawless).
Next month, I’m going to my first face-to-face critique session with some talented writers in my local SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) network. I’ve had lots and lots of critiques of my work, but since I connect with most of my writer friends online, they come in the form of Track Changes and narrative critiques. The face-to-face critique will be a new, and somewhat terrifying, experience for me. I may chicken out and have one of the other writers read for me (aren’t they nice?).
Do you read your MS aloud?