Do you read your writing aloud during one of the editing stages? You should. Really, you should. This past week, I read aloud my novel-in-progress from beginning to end. This was after I’d completed three edit rounds. So, you’d think listening to my book would not be painful, right? (Cue maniacal laughter.)
Granted my three edits were not in depth and the third was definitely rushed because I had a “deadline”. My alpha reader is a very busy woman. I knew she would have a brief lull after she finished writing her fourth novel and I wanted to take advantage of that, so after the third edit I sent my WIP off to her knowing it wasn’t perfect, but thinking it was presentable.
Immediately after that, I started another edit by reading aloud. Holy clunkeroos! I don’t know how I manage to convolute sentences the way I do. I also don’t understand how I can silently read those same sentences several times and not see they’re pretzels.
Halfway through the fourth edit, I apologized to my alpha for sending the file too soon. Lucky for me, she hadn’t started reading yet, so I read, read, read from morning to night for two more days and finished in time to send her a cleaner draft. I’m sure she’ll still have plenty of changes to suggest, but at least she won’t have had to puzzle out many sentences.
Anyway, if you don’t already, try reading your work aloud. You’ll be surprised what you hear that you didn’t see.