Sunday, March 22, 2015

You need to read aloud


I enjoyed a hectic round of NaNoWriMo this past November. Now, it's time to face the manuscript. A book written in the blinding speed of one month cries out to be edited. But, as I tell my students, what do you do before you edit?

"You need to read it!"

I actually tell my students that they need to read aloud anything they've written as they edit,  that they can see and hear the story, see and hear the errors.

It's great advice.

Too bad I'm not going to follow it. With 222 pages to go through, and probably more to add, I think I'll just read it quietly to myself.

Although, if I did sit down and read the manuscript aloud, I would record myself so I could follow long later. The biggest hurdle would be listening to my recorded self read the story aloud.

Just like anyone else, I hate how I sound.

Sure, to you, I sound like me, but when I hear myself, I feel like I sound nasally.

Weird.

Irritating.

I don't know if I could handle listening to myself read for 222 pages, as I followed along and edited. I would interrupt myself and wait for the other me to respond. I would want to have a discussion about the story, to make sure I'm making the right choices as I edited.

Sadly, I won't respond. The recorded me would just be rude and keep reading, not even stopping once to answer any questions I have or offer any feedback.

My recorded self would be a horrible editing partner.