Read Aloud: A Critical Step in the Editing Process

August 25, 2011

Several months ago, I took Angela James’s Before Your Hit Send workshop. I gained valuable information about the writing and editing processes but initially struggled to apply everything I’d learned. This explains why I just recently downloaded Natural Reader and took Ms. James’s advice to read my manuscript out loud.

Oh, I read a few lines when I had the chance, which meant no kids lurking and listening, but I was easily distracted and it seemed to take soooo long. Eventually, I lost focus, got tired of hearing my voice and returned to editing in silence.

Now that I’m more than halfway through a manuscript that is being read to me by Natural Reader, I’m sold on the process. I use earphones to listen, blocking out the noise in the house and saving my kids from an embarrassing word or two. As the reader reads, I note places where the rhythm is off or where a word sounds funny. I also hear typos. When I notice something that needs changed, I pause the reader, make the edits in the manuscript and then continue on.

It’s really that easy.

Do you read your manuscript out loud as part of your editing process? Have you ever tried a program that reads the manuscript for you?


2 Responses to “Read Aloud: A Critical Step in the Editing Process”

  1. Fascinating software. I read parts of my novel aloud before bringing them to my critique group, and inevitably that read-aloud process causes me to change how things flow, whether through tampering with sentence structure, changing words or just omitting some extraneous nonsense. I might have to try Natural Reader once I’m done with the full draft. Thanks for the tip!

  2. You bet! Thanks for visiting the blog.


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