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.


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