Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Read Your Prose Out Loud

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” -- Elmore Leonard.
How do I know if something sounds like writing? I read it out loud. This lets me hear the rhythm of the prose. Dialog that doesn’t sound "normal" stands out. Reading out loud is especially helpful if I attempt to have a character speak in an unnatural way. For example, the character may omit pronouns at the beginning of his sentences. It’s easy to find places where I forget and start a sentence with an I or you when I hear what is said.

I mentioned yesterday that I planned to give my current story one more try. Well, I started over, changed the point of view from third person past to first person present, and let my main character tell the story. If you’d like to read what I wrote, leave a comment. I’ll e-mail you a copy.

4 comments:

latisha said...

hi jim. longtime lurker. id love to read it. im taking a workshop right now and the best part is they make us read our pieces aloud. it changes how you feel about them so much. love your blog. thanks for giving it.

AVR said...

Hi, I would like to read what you wrote. My writing teacher used to make us read what we used to write from her writing assignment. In doing this I picked up on things and those that heard it did too. It was very constructive. I would like to read what you have. Thank you.

Kathy J. said...

Hi,
Shorttime lurker, I would love to read it. Still learning new things. Reading my work out loud always helps me.

Jim Harrington said...

Hi, Kathy. I'm afraid I can't send you the story. Your profile is blocked from view by the public, and I don't have your e-mail address.