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Read aloud to improve writing

Viết bởi: Alison David on Inc, 06 08 2021

How reading aloud has been used?

"Reading your own material aloud forces you to listen." - Stephen Ambrose, historian and biographer


"I read everything aloud, novels as well as picture books. I believe the eye and ear are different listeners. So as writers, we need to please both." - Jane Yolen, American author of fantasy, science fiction and children's books

"I don't find writing easy. That is because I do take great care: I rewrite a lot. If anything sounds sort of clumsy and not possible to read aloud to oneself . . . it doesn't work." - Ruth Rendell, English author of thrillers and murder mysteries

"When we launched a new company, I reviewed the ads and marketing materials and asked those presenting to read everything aloud to test the phrasing and concept. If I could grasp it quickly, then it passed with muster. We would get our message across only if it was understandable at first glance." - Richard Branson, entrepreneur and founder of The Virgin Group

"I find that reading my work aloud makes it weird enough that I can't scan or gloss over anything." - Austin Kleon, writer and artist; author of Steal Like An Artist

Reading aloud to improve these 5 aspects of your writing:

Correct mistakes. According to Erin Feldman, a copywriter and digital marketing strategist, "the first reason is obvious. It allows you to catch errors you've made in your writing. You'll spot missing words and misspelled words. You'll trip over sentences and realize that the sentences are a little mangled and require some attention. You'll discover you have two, distinct ideas in one paragraph, and you need to separate them."

Avoid bad words.I don't mean expletives; I'm referring to unfortunate word choices. If you're writing about a particular topic (like my specialty, internal communication), it's hard to avoid using the same word or term over and over again (like, say, "internal communication") until it becomes painfully repetitious. Reading aloud helps you hear the problems you may not see.

Remove sentences or sections that don't add value. "Sometimes when we write, we create filler," writes Jane Friedman, author of The Business of Being a Writer. "We don't think deeply about what we're saying. We include throwaway lines. Reading something out loud has an unusual way of bringing this to your attention. You suddenly don't have your heart in what you're saying. Especially for short pieces, you should care about delivering every line. If you have the desire to skip over parts, or leave something out, then you should edit it out.

Improve rhythm and pace. "Read a passage aloud and you'll get an immediate sense of how it 'should' feel; the way the words fit together and work as a whole," writes Robert Wood, an editor at StandOut Books. "The same way that you can hear a missed beat or wrong chord in music, you understand when your phrasing is awkward or unwieldy."

Improve perspective and voice. Here's advice from Jane Friedman: "Listening to yourself--whether in the moment or recorded--more closely identifies the writing to YOU, and you start to think more carefully about whether the events, details, and intricacies of the story reflect YOUR perspective."

Original article on inc

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