By Jennifer Blanchard
Everywhere you look, writers are publishing content that has typos, missing words, double words, etc. It’s happening on popular blogs, in articles, in books, magazines, newspapers…
It’s inevitable for an error to sneak in every now and then. If you take the time to edit your writing, however, it can happen less often.
But sometimes editing isn’t enough. Sometimes proofreading isn’t enough.
If you want a more effective way to catch mistakes before you hit the publish button, you have to read your work out loud.
Why Out Loud?
Although many writers don’t do it, there are several good reasons to read your writing out loud:
- You’ll discover sentences that are too wordy–If you run out of breath while reading the sentence, it’s too damn long.
- You’ll notice words that are missing or repeated–How many times have you read a blog post that said said something twice?
- You’ll come across sentences that don’t make sense.
- You’ll locate missing punctuation
- You’ll find that your writing gets better and better.
- You’ll be a better editor/proofreader overall.
I could go on.
There are a few different options when it comes to reading your work out loud. Here are my suggestions:
- Read it out loud to yourself–If you do nothing else, read it out loud to yourself. Make sure you’re in a quiet place so you can hear what you’re reading.
- Read it out loud into a recorder–If you’re working on a piece of fiction or poetry, it’s a good idea to read the entire thing into a recorder and then play it back. Listen to yourself read it. You’ll notice right away mistakes, parts that move too slowly or scenes that happen too quickly.
- (If you’re brave) Have someone else read your story out loud to you–You’ll hear many things you’d miss if you just read it in your head.
Do you read your writing out loud? How has it helped you catch mistakes?
About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is founder of Procrastinating Writers. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.