This is one in a series of posts entitled Publishing 101: Draft to Book in 30 days. To learn more about this challenge, visit the Publishing 101 page, where all links regarding this topic will be listed as they become available.
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I began reading my work out loud more than a dozen years ago. Each time I complete this task it reminds me of the importance of this step.
It took me three and a half hours to read Fowl Summer Nights, so this step takes only a little longer to complete than silently reading the story.
Reading aloud reveals issues with flow and words that just don’t sound great together. I had edited Mystery Light in Cranberry Cove numerous times, but until I read it aloud, I hadn’t realised Ellis and Alice sounded almost exactly alike. Since they were two of four main characters who had a lot of air time together, it was important their names not only looked distinct but also sounded differently. This was a children’s chapter book, which meant it was quite possible a parent would read it to a child. In the end, I changed Alice to Shona to make her stand out.
I can’t stress enough how important this step is in my editing process. I read aloud everything from my 500-word genealogy column to my 160,000-word fantasy novel. If you have never read your work aloud, give it a try. You might surprise yourself.
This completes this step in the Draft to Book in 30 Days challenge.
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