In the final read through I find it helps to print it up and read it aloud. Though, it’s even better to have someone read it aloud to you. If you don’t have anyone to hand try using a dictaphone or recording device and listen to yourself reading it aloud while following the words on the screen. Lucky for me, this is where my husband comes in handy. When I first started writing and he read it aloud his tone was flat and inexpressive. My work sounded terrible. My husband isn’t a reader and doesn’t read novels, just manuals. Though over the years I’ve been writing he has read everything I have written more than once.
I can honestly say his way of reading has improved, or maybe it’s my writing that has 🤷♀️. Anyway, it is more helpful to me to hear how my work sounds to others.
The author Robert B Parker said about his writing,
“I think people like my books because they like the way the words sound.”
I keep Robert B Parker’s words in mind while editing. I think it is important to ask yourself questions while editing. Is this relevant to the plot? Does your reader need to know this? Have you told your reader this before? Why is this happening? The list might seem endless but you must remember the tighter your writing the more powerful your book will be. By focusing on the flow of your story telling the more you will carry your reader forward and keep them turning the pages.
It’s important to me to start with some action. All good ‘how to write’ advice tells you to write a hook at the beginning of your story, whether you’re working on a short story or a novel. I like to write a point of interest or hook within five to seven minutes. This is because if I’m ever asked to read my work aloud, I want to keep my readers interested in what will come next. I have on several occasions been asked to read aloud and found my point of interest didn’t come soon enough. So now I always write with this in mind.
So using your phone, record yourself reading aloud with a set timer, and imagine you have only a short amount of time in which to sell your story to a reader. Find your cut off point.
Go on give it a go.