Thursday, June 21, 2012

Read My Lips

I’m about midway through the fourth rewrite of my short-story collection.

What’s so amazing to me is that I still find errors, mistakes, typos, and other boo-boos that I thought would have been caught during the first or second reads. I had the same experience with my previous books.

To be honest, I know that I’ll discover or uncover items that need to be addressed in the seventh or eighth read. That’s part of the challenge in reading copy. And I realize, to play on a saying by Alexander Pope: To err is human; to proofread, refine.

One thing I do at this point in the process is to read aloud (when alone) – or at least mouth – the words on the computer screen. Why? I want to make sure they have the correct sound and flow. I find this especially important in dialogue. I want the words to ring real and true.

By reading the manuscript in my normal voice, I believe it gives me a feel for what the reader may experience when digesting my words. If parts sound clumsy, choppy or wordy to me, I believe it will be magnified, and perhaps indigestible, for the reader.

Until the next time...


  1. I used to read my MS aloud until my daughter heard me and told my wife I had someone in the house. She still doesn't entirely believe me.

    1. That's a good story, Roger. That's a reason I make sure no one can hear me when I read, or I quietly read to myself.