Editing Notes: The Power of the Spoken Word

I’ve written things before.  I’ve rewritten and revised.  But The Novel is the first thing I’ve ever taken this far in the writing process–from finished first draft (a stage most of my projects never reach) through three more drafts and two rounds of beta readers.

I started the final proofreading edit yesterday.  I spent four hours reading myself my novel, out loud, with my hands hovering over the delete and arrow keys.

By the end of the four hours, “out loud” became “rough whisper” because I seem to be coming down with a cold, but the important thing was, my brain wasn’t just seeing the words on the page, it was hearing them, too.  (Today, the editing is more like “Words words words I’m saying [cough cough hack hack] more words words [missing word oops fix that][cough] end of the sentence okay.”)

This draft I’m working from was nitpicked by six people who were not me, and they caught many, many, many mistakes.  Typos and missing words and awkward phrasing and unclear wording and tiny inconsistencies I hadn’t weeded out yet.

I love them to death and I will forever be grateful for their assistance and feedback.  That being said?

I’m still finding (and fixing) mistakes.

I had never tried the reading-out-loud advice before, and from now on, I’m always going to use it.  Because it works.

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