Sunday, 18 August 2013

Reading stages

I put up a little outline of our editing stages a couple of weeks ago (here).

One of the stages I didn't mention were 'reading stages'. When I read a book, I mentally read it in my own voice - stories have their roots as oral hand-me-downs so we naturally expect a flow to our writing that mirrors our speech.

Long sentences can give detail, while short ones build tension.

I therefore read my work aloud to find any places where it doesn't sound right. Something that doesn't sound right is almost always an area where a reworded sentence is vastly superior to the original. We often miss things when reading as our eyes skim the page, particularly for our own work, so reading forces us to slow down, and gives us a great way of checking.

As well the 24 stage process outline above, we would therefore suggest reading stages after each major revision - so one at the end of the first draft, another after the first (developmental edit) then again after copyediting, and one final check after all proofreads are complete.

If you've got a nice voice, then this is also a great opportunity to record either the whole shebang, or a sample for podcast/ audiobook use.

No comments:

Post a Comment