Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Time for Feedback

I'm at a stage in the novel I'm working on that I want to hear feedback from a handful of readers.

But first, before I embarrass myself, I need to read and hear it for myself.

Occasionally, in the past, I've recorded my own reading of a short story. But, for now, I won't take the time to read 15,000 words aloud. Instead, I just took the first 75 pages of the novel and, using Automator on the Mac, had the machine record a reading.

Hearing your own writing read to you like this is immensely helpful. Make no mistake, even with modern technology, standard computers with off-the-shelf software do not read well. They do, however, do a good enough job to get some sense of rhythm and a very good sense of things like unintended repeated words.

Within the first few minutes of listening, I made note of half-a-dozen spots that needed something for rhythm. And this is true after having read the first couple chapters countless times during the early editing process.

Hearing it aloud is just plain different.

It's been a while since I did any of this kind of work with a Windows machine. But I know they are as capable (perhaps with a little bit more inconvenience) of reading/recording your material for you.

Give it a try and see if it doesn't help you spot problems in your writing that you would otherwise miss.

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