Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Eating my words

Once again I have to eat my words. I thought reading a manuscript aloud was a daft way to go on, and that reading it in my head would do very nicely, thank you. Well, my better half was out the other day and I decided to try it. There was no one to hear me but the dog, and he didn't care. Snored right through it. But I did make changes to Chapter One because of reading aloud.

Awkward phrases showed up right away, and strangely, something I had not expected - I found small patches of unnecessary dialogue. Chapter Two wasn't so rewarding, if that's how I should look at the exercise. That writing seemed to flow much better, and was much easier to read, so far fewer changes resulted. It will be on to chapter Three today, if all stays right with the world. (And after I've walked the dog and watched Rafa at Roland Garros this afternoon, naturally. So little time these days!)

Skies are grey today, but the forecast is for more of the wonderful weather of the last few days. Spring has suddenly morphed into summer and the riverside walks are glorious with wild flowers and trees in their freshest shades of green. The thorn trees are boasting masses of white flowers and nettles are flourishing three feet high, something I noticed yesterday when I went walking in cropped jeans. Luckily dock leaves grew nearby and soon soothed the stings.

2 comments:

Ursula Thompson said...

How does it help to read it aloud? I would feel like an idiot doing that, lol!

Jen Black said...

I felt the same way - but reading aloud soon let's you know when the sentence is a) too long b) convoluted and therefore not easy to read and c)it somehow showed up repetition of phrases. Possibly because there's an extra part of the brain used in reading aloud as opposed to just reading. Something in the brain has to transform those words on the page into sounds and project them, so there's more recognition of what you are reading. If anyone has a scientific answer - please tell!