Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beware the Twangs! in Your Prose

“So to edit your work, you go back and thrum [like you would a stringed instrument] to it. And you go thrum, thrum, thrum, twang! And when you go twang! as a reader, mark that passage.” -- Robert Olen Butler in From Where Dreams Come.
I’ve never given it much thought, but this is exactly the way I edit my stories. It’s easiest to hear the twangs when reading a work out loud. Once I get to a certain point, I read my stories aloud after every edit. It’s the only way I can hear the bumps along the way. I did this with my novelette also, reading chapter by chapter. Every Do list for writers includes the advice to read your prose out loud. It works for me.

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