Every time I sit down to edit/revise/review BiaAtlas I smile. I smile because I know how far it’s come from that crazy filter word filled mess of a first draft. I know how much time and effort I’ve put into making it readable and enjoyable. It is a lot of hard work to polish it up and get it ready to present to the world. Right now, I’m still tackling the word count. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m almost there, almost at the goal number and I hope to surpass it. Once I hit that magic number or beyond I will start querying agents again with gusto.
It isn’t always practical or easy to have someone proof on the spot or at my convenience. While having an outsider’s opinion is the best option it’s not always the available one. There is one thing I do when revising that I do both naturally and because it is recommended. I read aloud.
This is very important. Why? Because my inside voice is full of my intended emotions and voice tones, inflections and it has an understanding of how I wanted it to sound in the first place. This can be disastrously misleading. I wrote the story, I had an idea and tone in my head when I wrote it. So, if I use my inner voice to narrate and act it out, it will use the same tone and I might not see/hear/understand if the narrative or conversation is falling flat, or if it’s hard to understand or if it’s completely out to lunch.
Sometimes I read it aloud and sometimes I whisper. Whispering can take out my imagined emotional aspect. This really does help. If I don’t feel that what I’m reading is quite right I might even read it in a monotone. Sure, I look crazy and it has me “talking” to myself more often outside of revision, but hey, it works.
I know I’m not perfect and I would hesitate to read anything written by someone who claims to be. So I’ll keep learning and keep working hard on my writing and revision.
My advice about reading aloud.
Do it. If you think you don’t need to then you need to more than anyone else. Go on, put on a solo performance, read aloud and then when you’re done you can give yourself a standing ovation too. 😉
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