Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Writing tools #2

This will be a brief post, so please enjoy this cute picture of Goo.

I just want to take a moment to talk about the 'ear test' as an editing tool. I know many people have probably talked about and said this in a far more elegant way that me, but it needs to be repeated. Reading a piece out loud, or having someone else reading a piece out loud helps to fix 90% of your mistakes (at least the ones that you could catch on your own).

I'll start with how I edit. I print it out. Paper and clip board with a red pen. Then I'll go through it for a draft. I'll print it again (sorry, but the Goo stories are first drafts and just come off the top of my head) and read each line aloud so that my ears have a chance to pick up any mistakes that I may have missed. From there, I'll give it a break and do something else, before going back to it and giving it one more edit for readers.

So, why is the ear test important? Because just like life, reading and immersing into a story does not always affect one sense. And besides sight, hearing is the only other sense ... that you can adjust your work without actually being weird.

Touch doesn't really fit unless you can feel the ink on the paper or are writing in braille.

Smell just doesn't work at all beyond doing research before your edits/first draft.

And taste ... I swear, if I see you licking your paper, I'll probably stop talking to you. That's beyond oddball. Though ... get me a few drinks, and we may have a discussion lol.

My point is that if you can't read your sentences in one, normal breath or that the words clutter together in your mouth, you need to revise it. This is easily picked up when using the ear test.

Give it a try. Rework a chapter you have been editing by using the ear test. Maybe you're lucky enough to have someone to read it too you (print two copies or have him read from the computer while you write on paper). Either way, it will improve your writing.

Keep working hard.

Thanks for reading,

Next: Writing process

1 comment:

  1. Yes! I've tried this before, it works excellently. I think it also helped me trim a 18,500 word draft into an almost final 14th 17,500 word draft.^^