Read It Out Loud
I’ve been working on revisions as of late. One of the best ways to see if the flow of a sentence is right, is to read it out loud. If you trip up on it, more than likely your reader will too.
This is great advice.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve fixed a flubbed line just by reading it out loud. Take these lines for example:
He could make a grab for the balcony, letting go of the banner and trusting he had enough momentum left. Or, he could try to climb above the rip and risk a return swing. The swing would be shorter, but he could gain more speed to compensate.
This felt wrong, but I couldn’t quite figure why until I heard it.
I know. I’m sorry I forced you to hear it, but the lesson must be learned. Boy did I learn it. Almost immediately I knew what I had to change:
And here it is in print:
He could make a grab for the balcony, letting go of the banner, trusting he had enough momentum. Or, he could try to climb over the rip and risk a return swing– shorter, but one that might give him more speed.
This might not be the best example, but hopefully you get the drift. Give it a try and see how it works for you.
As with any tips on writing, this might not be for everyone. It’s quite possible that a person’s speaking skills aren’t on par with their writing skills. I myself find that to be the case when it comes to public speaking scenarios. In private however, I can recognize the rambling and stammering without fear of embarrassment because I know I can edit it out before anyone else can read it.