Hello, darlings,

It feels as if I’ve been gone forever. April was a busy month despite my A-to-Z hiatus. Somehow, whenever I set blogging aside to tackle other writing tasks, the time is always sucked up with the unexpected. Ever have that happen, or is it just me?

No matter. I missed y’all, and it’s great to be back!

I don’t give a lot of writing advice on this blog because I realize what works for me won’t work for everyone. To assume otherwise would be hubris. The concept of one true writing process has no more validity than the concept of one true religion.

Vern Hart/Flickrcc

Vern Hart/Flickrcc

Granted, there was a time I heard the words, “This is how you write,” and I took heed. Nor will I deny that being a naïf had its advantages. It allowed me to try many approaches, which eventually led to my hammering out a process of my own. But there were drawbacks, too. Most notably, every “foolproof” process that bombed, left me feeling like a failure, eroding my self-confidence and often stalling my growth as a writer. Maybe this is just a rite of passage. I can’t say.

Anyway, the point of this rambling preamble is to explain that while I’m hesitant to give advice, today I have a tip for ALL writers, be you fiction or non-fiction, plotter or a pantser, novelist or short story scribe, and believe it or not, your genre matters not one whit.

READ YOUR WORK OUT LOUD!

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Michael Scott/Flickrcc

Michael Scott/Flickrcc

Reading out loud is the key to self-editing. Yes, it will help you find typos and grammatical errors. But more important, readers hear your words in their minds (subvocalization), which means reading aloud is the closest you will ever come to stepping outside your writer-self and experiencing your work the way your reader experiences it. If you are stopped by incorrect punctuation, awkward phrasing, or repetition, rest assured your reader will be stopped as well. Reading out loud is imperative for natural sounding dialogue. It will help you identify echoes and clumsy alliterations. It will force you to pay attention to the rhythm of your words.

“Write it so that people can hear it and
it slides through the brain and
goes straight to the heart.”
~MAYA ANGELOU

So, there’s a tip to begin your week. You can thank me later.

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Have you tried reading your work out loud?

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HAPPY CINCO de MAYO!! 

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*Hope to see you all on Wednesday for IWSG!

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