Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Reading your work out loud and other life lessons

1.) In the fertile land of editing, I've found that there's a lot of trial and error involved (but maybe that's just life as well?). Many fellow bloggers have mentioned reading their manuscripts out loud so I decided to try it. That is one of the benefits of living alone, right?  To be able to speak to yourself and not worry about looking crazy. 

It turns out that this technique works wonders for the "rhythm" and tone of a written piece. Are there too many shorter sentences? Is there irrelevant detail? Reading your words out loud can help answer these types of questions.
Tell me, do you have a go to editing technique?

2.) I'd like to say I fell for Samir over our many candle lit dates at restaurants with thick, linen tablecloths. While that's true to an extent, there's another side. He learned about how much I hated doing dishes the night we met. Every time we've been together since then, he races to the sink to finish them (and like an eternal gentleman, pretends it's a coincidence). Last time, while I observed his soapy fingers, the growing stack of plates by his side, and the hum of an old slow song leaving his lips, I knew that's where love happened.
Take home: life occurs in those banal, daily moments that are too often overlooked.

3.) My poetry professor had the best, succinct truths that he exhaled throughout class. One I remembered today:
Me to a fellow student: "I wouldn't worry about the test too much. I think that whole class is pass/fail."
Professor: "Yeah, life is pretty pass/fail." 


  1. what a cool prof.! and a great analogy about life. i don't normally read my work aloud. it makes sense that it would be a great exercise to hear rhythm, or like I sometimes do--a repeat of certain words in a short amount of space. I'll have to try it out. :)

  2. I always read my work aloud. It's amazing how many mistakes I catch that way!

    So sweet that Samir does the dishes for you! I dislike washing dishes, too. I wish it was a way to get ideas like it was for Agatha Christie, but no ideas are ever forthcoming for me, haha. Just loathing! Whenever I really really can't summon the energy to do those dishes, my husband and I play rock, paper, scissors to see who'll do them, LoL!! So far I've won more times than he! :)

    1. Haha, love that you play rock, paper, scissors. You two are so cute!

  3. Reading my stuff out loud helps me spot crappy dialogue.
    Hey, we don't do dishes for just anybody, so you might want to hang on to Samir!

  4. Reading the book aloud always helps me catch my mistakes in rhythm (and typos, often). Such a sweet story about Samir! Those ordinary moments are always the most special, somehow. And your professor's quote made me laugh, because it's SO true. :)

  5. I always read my ms aloud too. I'm in the process of doing that now. It takes a long time but is definitely worth it.

  6. I've heard a lot about the benefits of reading out loud, but have never done it. (Yes, the idea of looking like a lunatic doesn't appeal to me either. ;)) But after reading about your experience, I think I'm going to give it a try. :)

  7. I've read my work out loud. And while it makes me feel silly, i've found the benefits outweigh the silliness.

  8. I do this too! And in my office, surrounded by other writers doing it. =)If it doesn't sound beautiful, what's the point, right?

  9. I do read out loud but feel dumb doing it. To his credit, my husband doesn't say anything.

  10. I just wanted to say that -- although I haven't left many comments recently -- I've been visiting regularly, and I appreciate all the fine writing advice you've been sharing!

    Life being pass/fail... love it.