Last week we explored some fun little writing prompts (by the way, I’m all aquiver in anticipation for those to start rolling in so…don’t keep a lady waiting, it isn’t polite). I hope that you found out something fun, disturbing, and original to spark some new projects. You clever writer, I bet they are fabulous (send them in)!
This week, in order to give your creative noodle a break, I thought I’d switch more to the editorial aspect of writing. Specifically, the sound of our writing and what it means for our readers.
Whether it’s poetry meant to be read aloud, stumbling through your first chapter at a promotional event, or having your book read by a parent to their child, the flow and sound of your “writing voice” matters and reading it out loud changes a lot about what you can only see on the page.
So, let’s talk about the benefits of using oral…
Okay. Sorry, that was the fifteen-year-old boy part of my brain thinking he’s clever.
This exercise doesn’t take much effort and is an easy way to edit a work in progress that may be in its final stages of completion. Or, if you’re a poet, this is by far the best way to gauge the power and purpose of your work.
Print out a chapter of your novel, a poem, or a short story (I suppose you can use your device or laptop—the girl who loves the feeling of paper between her fingers sighs to the encroaching dominance of technology).
Then read that piece out loud either to yourself or to your unwilling cat.
If you don’t have an audience, I encourage you to use a mirror.
Read vibrantly, read purposefully, read with intonation and depth. Meet your eyes in that mirror and feel the story, the dialogue; that stanza of hard cutting thought.
You will start to hear your particular voice emerge and you will also find editorial errors that are invisible during the brash sweep of only eyes without the mouth getting involved.
So, get your mouth involved (*snicker* *snort*)
Oh man… come on!
I think I’ll stop there for the week.
Go read your stuff out loud. Make marks on the paper (or device) where you notice inconsistencies, mistakes, or ‘not right’ words.
Change them, make it better.
I’ll catch you next Tuesday for exciting news about the Poetry Anthology.