Reading your work aloud is an editing habit that many published writers recommend. And for good reason! There are several benefits to reading your work aloud, the first of which is that it can help you catch errors. When you read silently, your brain has a tendency to fill in the gaps and correct errors without you even realising it.
But when you read aloud, your brain can’t make those same corrections, so you’re more likely to catch errors that you would have otherwise missed. Reading aloud will help with picking up spelling errors, missing words and grammar mistakes.
Additionally, reading your work aloud can help you get a feel for the rhythm and flow of your writing. This is especially important if you’re working on a piece that will be read aloud, such as a speech or a piece of performance poetry. But even if you’re not working on something that will be read aloud, it can still be helpful to hear the rhythm of your words to make sure that it sounds the way you want it to.
It can also eliminate sentences that run on for too long or sentences which don’t have enough commas for breaks – you may find yourself running out of breath in some parts if there aren’t enough commas!
Reading your work aloud can also help you get in touch with the emotional quality of your writing. When you hear the words, you may pick up on places where the tone is off or where the writing is flat. This can be a helpful way to add more emotion to your writing or to make sure that the emotional quality of your writing is consistent throughout.
Sentences you have written and read back in your head may sound like they convey a lot of emotions, but if you read them aloud, they may sound a bit cheesy or unrealistic.
Finally, reading your work aloud can help you get a sense of how your reader will experience your writing. This is important because you want your reader to have a positive experience with your writing, and reading your work aloud can help improve its clarity and coherence.
When you read something out loud, you can catch places where the meaning might be confusing for readers. If something doesn’t make sense when you say it out loud, chances are it won’t make much more sense to readers, either! This may be the case in areas where you have a lot of information for readers to take in or even something as simple as determining which character is speaking if you have decided to leave out a dialogue tag.
So next time you’re editing your work, try reading it aloud – I promise it will help! It will give you a different perspective on your work and help you see any areas for improvement. Even if you do a bit as you are writing, it will help you stay focused and make sure that you are making enough sense for your reader.