Monday, November 28, 2011


There will come a time when you will be asked to read your writing aloud. You will be in a room with other people. They will stop what they are doing; they will turn their full attention on you; and they will listen as you give voice to your precious words.

Preparing for this time – reading your work aloud in private – has two benefits. First, you will learn to read in a way that is engaging and interesting. Second, you will gain a deeper insight into your own writing.

How our work sounds is not something we writer’s necessarily think about as we write. We think about punctuation and grammar, we think about syntax and sentences, but we don’t automatically think about cadence and meter. We should.

When words are read aloud, letters, punctuation and sentence-structure are replaced by subtle changes in rhythm and breath. Interesting writing – writing that is enjoyable to read – captures the nuance of spoken language. This is why listening to the spoken word can inform one’s writing in ways that reading silently cannot.

But there’s no use whispering your story to your computer screen. Engage your vocal cords, give voice to your words, listen to what they are telling you about your writing.

I have found this to be helpful.

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