?

Is reading your draft out loud part of your revision process?

Poll closed May 13, 2011.
  1. Yes

    10 vote(s)
    38.5%
  2. Nope

    6 vote(s)
    23.1%
  3. Sometimes

    9 vote(s)
    34.6%
  4. I didn't know it was part of the process

    1 vote(s)
    3.8%
  1. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    Is reading out loud part of your revision process?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by nastyjman, Apr 29, 2011.

    Very curious.
     
  2. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    I would read out loud but my horrible Irish accent butchers the English language lol
     
  3. Arathald
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    Arathald Contributing Member

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    Absolutely. I think this is one of the most important parts of the revision process as it lets you take a different look at your work. Between reading aloud and setting a work aside for a while, it's about as close as you can get to someone else looking at your work (which is also critical).
     
  4. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    My mouth and throat start hurting when I do it...so only sometimes. It does help catch mistakes though.
     
  5. Trish
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    Trish I've been deleted.. again Contributor

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    Yes, absolutely. And for those of you who don't do it I would highly recommend you at least do it for dialogue, it makes a HUGE difference :D
     
  6. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I often read aloud whenever I am focusing on dialogue, and it helps me make the dialogue more real if I am saying it aloud. However, I do not use my own "voice" to say out the dialogue, I use my character's voice.

    On the other hand, I do not often read the narrative description aloud though, but it is something I should be doing to pinpoint grammar errors.
     
  7. katica
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    katica Senior Member

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    I don't do it for a bad reason. Because sometimes I struggle to concentrate when I'm writing if I don't read it to myself out loud.
     
  8. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    I do it sometimes, but I see what benefits it could bring. Firstly, voice. I read some of my previous stories that I haven't read for a week or so, and find that some of the sentences I wrote were stiff. Reading them out loud, some words came out clumsy and clunky.

    Another benefit is tone. There will be scenes where a soft tone is needed, so you read that scene in a low and soft tone as if you were singing a lullaby or whispering a sonnet to someone. And then there are scenes where a hard tone is needed -- scenes with fast action and breath-taking suspense.

    I'm currently enjoying the revision process, but I haven't included "reading out loud" as one of its components. I think I should.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know that it's recommended and I should, but I don't. It would particularly hamper me for dialog - hearing the words in my voice, not the characters' voices, would break the reality of the scene for me. I think I'd have to do it late late late in the revision process, after the reality is already well established for me.
     
  10. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    I did this last week for my 120,000 word novel.... It took me 4 days and I had to keep stopping as my voice turned into a feeble croak since I was still recovering from tonsillitis, but I've never been one to let something like that stand in my way of doing something insane. :p

    Really helps smooth out the narration though. :D
     
  11. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    ...and that is why you're Almighty.
     
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  12. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Only if I think some sentences sound a little awkward. Don't know why, but I can't focus if I read out loud. The more I read out loud, the less I understand of what I'm reading and soon I'm just babbling and have no clue what words are coming out of my mouth. So reading out loud only works for a few sentences at the time.
     
  13. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Not really. Most people aren't going to be reading my story aloud and I think some of the effect is lost if I have to read it aloud cause I'm not the best actor and I can't capture all the emotion I put into my words, the tone, etc. I'd probably be able to read some aloud if called to, but it's not really part of my revision process.
     
  14. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not really about how dramatically you can read it or how it sounds. Any "effect" is totally in your head for that moment when you're alone in your room with your novel, making it ready. It's not like you have to have an audience, or are recording it for the audio book. It's just a matter of hearing the words spoken aloud. And how long the sentences are. If it starts turning into babble maybe your sentences are too long and you aren't giving yourself enough breathing places. Don't try and turn it into a dramatic reading - just read it aloud, and only breathe at full stops and some of the more intense commas, and see how blue in the face you turn. Another thing is seeing the in-speech edits you make. So, I just went and read aloud this sentence:

    and realised that in my natural speech pattern I don't say "some" and when I do, it sounds forced. So I am now going to go cut it. :p

    It honestly doesn't matter what the words are as long as they flow well. I wish I had a pre-read-aloud copy of the parts I edited of my novel from last week to explain the difference, but I just saved over the changes. :p

    *goes to read out some more of this thing I was writing this morning*

    Okay:
    Wrote this, and while I like "thick pink smoothie" written down (funny k sounds and all), I found it really hard to say all together in the sentence and the drop after the hard words is too much - with the "my" it's three hard stresses and then smooooothieee. One of the chillest words ever. :p The noun gets swallowed up in the intensity of the adjectives.

    So changing it to, say, "gloopy pink smoothie" would instantly make it a better sentence. There's the "oo" sound in both words, so they're on equal footing, and "pink" only punctuates it now to keep a rhythm going.

    It really is just tiny things like that, but they litter a piece and the more you read it out loud and test out the sounds, the more you can polish it and make it right. It's not a first draft thing. Wait until it's all there and you know the only changes you need to make are cosmetic ones, and just go for it.
     
  15. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Kind of disagree here. I agree that thick pink smoothie is a bit hard to say and “gloopy” might sound better aloud, but written down I don't think it works that well. It's too noticeable and takes the attention. Would probably require a quick reread on my part. While when I read thick I just continue on and the flow is better.

    I guess that was directed at me :p
    Everything I read aloud becomes babble. There have been times where I've been reading in class and not known where I was when I stop. And when I tell bedtime stories to my cousins, I either have to tell from memory or make stuff up. I can't get into the story if I just read it out loud, and yeah, after a few sentences I don't know what I'm saying anymore. That's how I ended up saying "and Voldemort raped Harry Potter" to them.
     
  16. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have never considered that until just recently but I am actually going to do that with my curent novel to try and hear it, check for the flow to not be strange sounding or interrupted. I think that can be a great tool.
     
  17. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    That sounds like some sort of reading panic or anxiety thing. :/ Do you feel nervous about reading aloud? The problem is probably feeding itself. Seriously, sit down alone in a room and read something (not even your own work) aloud to yourself taking it one word at a time, really slowly, making sure you know what you're about to say. I'm kinda like that with speaking sometimes - when I'm scared I babble like crazy and my grammar and logic go all over the place. I lie and make stuff up and state completely wrong things like saying there are 5 of something when everyone can see there are 3 or something, just because I suck at large groups of people and being the centre of attention. I don't even mean to do it - it just comes out and I can't stop it. I get worse when I'm drunk - I remember one time holding both hands clasped over my mouth and talking around them completely unable to stop the words coming out. :p

    I'm a lot better at reading aloud because the words are given to me, and I did drama for a while so got used to reading from scripts before all my teenage anxieties kicked in (I was a super confident kid). But could be your anxiety works in reverse to mine. I mean, it's not like I feel actively scared about being around people or talking to them - I quite like socialising. I just freak out when too many eyes point my way and start saying stupid things.
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    only rarely, for dialog in prose... somewhat more often for poetry...
     
  19. Velox
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    Velox Senior Member

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    I voted "sometimes" but "very rarely" would have been more accurate. Sometimes if a certain piece of dialogue sounds weird as it is, I'll say it out loud to try and make it sound more natural. Otherwise, I don't usually read stuff out loud.
     
  20. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe half that and half bad attention span. I mean, I'm not nervous about reading unless I'm standing in front of the class, and weren't allowed to read from a sheet. I think it's simply harder for me to focus when I'm reading out loud for some reason, because I have no problem focusing otherwise.
     
  21. aimi_aiko
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    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

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    When re-reading what I've written, I'll always catch myself reading it out loud and that is when I catch mistakes, errors, etc. When reading quietly (inside my head), I catch a lot less mistakes than I would if I read it out loud. Reading something out loud helps me make sense of it. I listen to how it sounds, and if it sounds incorrect, I will fix it immediately.
     
  22. Lord Malum
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    Lord Malum Senior Member

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    I personally don't like to read aloud anything, let alone something I've written. If I do want to hear it out loud, I get someone close enough to me to tell me that it's not that great to read it out loud to me. The added input like that is like getting input from my audience before I finalize anything.
     

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