Corey Ann Haydu, author of OCD Love Story, gave my class the task of re-reading our WIP out loud at the beginning of the year (in the privacy of our own home, thank goodness).
I had to section my book into fourths so I would not go blue in the face, but…I found the assignment an invaluable learning experience that I wanted to share with you.
Reading out loud is a quick way to tell if a sentence sounds “off”. It’s like having a writing superpower.
How cool, right?
When reading my writing out loud, I can quickly pinpoint what’s working, and what is really-really not…even after I have re-read the sentence over in my head.
I am often amazed at the errors I find (missing words, weird sentence structures, etc.) No surprise, my writing is better with those errors caught.
Because of this, I have found that a writer’s best friend is the best listener they know. For me, it’s my dog, Mr. Murphy. He can’t say anything (mostly just tilts his head), and he doesn’t mind if I re-read a sentence once, twice, or (sometimes) three times to him.
So, find yourself a listener (it might even just be yourself) and get reading…out loud. You might be surprised at what you find.
I have been writing my whole life, but I only started writing about a year and a half ago (can it really be that long?!)
Even more of a shocker, I wrote my first draft of my current WIP about eight years ago. Of course, the first draft was not good—it was a mess. But, the main character kept popping up in my mind. She wanted her story told, and right this time.
So, I complied. I applied and got into a year-long novel program—and I started the novel writing journey. In one word, it was tough. But, it was also the biggest growing experience for myself and my writing. I worked alongside successful published authors and soaked in their feedback. I restarted my novel (twice) and I changed the main plot (more than I can count). I workshopped my pages and experienced the heart wrenching feeling of having (gulp) critiques. I learned how important feedback and workshopping is to a writer, and I—grew. My novel grew as well (in word count and construction) and my characters grew (ha!) on me even more.
I am just an aspiring author that is struggling through her first adventure into the writing and publishing world. I don’t know much, but I am more than happy to share everything I know.