I’m getting ready to send my novel manuscript out to an editor. I had been over the print copy, penned in revisions, deletions, changed the order of some scenes and then spent two weeks making all those changes on the computer file.
But I knew there was something I still needed to do. I needed to read my manuscript out loud. All four hundred plus pages of it. I’d never done this before with a long manuscript, but I kept reading that this step was an important editing tool.
It took me a week, and lots of glasses of lemon water, but I was glad I’d done the work.
- I found multiple errors that I’d missed when I marked up the manuscript pages.
- I found I could better assess the pacing of scenes.
- I found places where characters said something they couldn’t have known because it hadn’t happened yet.
- I found spelling errors that Word had overlooked.
- I found inconsistencies in dialogue for characters.
- I found character “tells.”
- I found that I still liked my story.
My advice: Read your work outloud. It’s an editing tool worth the time and effort.