The Final Edit: Read Out Loud

[Writer’s Stuff]

Coming from someone who is ADHD and dyslexic, reading isn’t as easy as you’d think. I’m still a little shocked by the length of some of my work. Or how high the quality of the work.

Writing, reading, editing, proofreading, etc has been hard tasks to learn and stay on top of. That’s typical writer response of having all the stories and nothing finished? That was me. Back in 2017, I decided enough was enough. I cannot just let myself have sixty thousand stories open when I knew what was supposed to happen in the bulk of them.

I sat my butt in the chair and cleared them.

Now how can I turn these trash fires into something good?

Edits. Proofreading. Figuring it all out.

My first round of edits is normally a rewrite. Get the final product fully invested into the beginning. Take the now fully developed characters and make sure the reader can see them from the start.

Then double check the big stuff and slowly dwindle the work until the little stuff. Line edits, checking grammar, checking punctuation.

I got this.

Then before considering it a final draft, I read it out loud.

Why?

I struggle to read individual words. That’s part of how I read past my adhd and dyslexia. I read past them. I pull in everything without reading anything. It increases my speed reading while not catching all the words.

So if I switched words around a sentence, I wouldn’t notice in normal read throughs.

Reading out loud has me catch those mistakes.

When I feel as if I didn’t catch the meaning of a sentence, I read it out loud. My brain hears things differently than sees things. I notice things differently.

I will always suggest a final read out loud for editing purposes, because I’m not the only one with concerns like this. But it’s more than just someone who struggles like I do. Reading out loud slows down your reading. It forces you to hear the book. To see if it makes sense in another out loud.

The more senses you hit when going through a study or review session, the better it will be.

Pretend you are creating an audio file for your book. Or if it’s an essay, pretend you have to present it.

Does it make sense this way?

Is there any questions newly opened from reading out loud?

You won’t notice big things this way. It takes longer to read out loud than reading silently. Reading out loud helps you find different errors than silent reading offers.


Other similar tricks: Switching the font type or size. Reading on a different background or in a different program. Reading on the computer screen or on paper. Switching which screen you are reading on.

Reading out loud is my final method to double check everything. The edit one more time round.

Everyone should have that one more time. After you think everything’s pretty good, to edit one more time. To find limited errors far apart from each other.

Remember, perfection isn’t possible. We just want it good enough. Good enough where the story is stronger than any mistakes found within.

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