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Do you read your book out loud during editing?

BearBear

Troubadour
I saw this once and I do this for short stories and poems but... my novels are 120k words minimum. Reading it out loud is so painful to me.

I'm not looking to publish them anyway, but do you do this?
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
Yup. Or at least my wife does it. :D For three books, now. It doesn't eliminate all typos and other errors, but it helps a whole lot.
 

pmmg

Vala
I have thought about doing this to make an audio book ;) But...not there yet. Its on my mind though. I think I would like to.

I have enough beta readers though. My issue is just my poor brain which omits so many words yet leads me to believe they are really there. I am not sure there are enough beta readers to really fix it all.
 
You can just make your computer do the reading for you.

Both Word (recent versions at least), and Google docs have a "read out loud" feature, which will read your manuscript to you.
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
Reading aloud--whether you, another, or computer--is something I highly recommend. Don't think you have 120k words and omg that's far too much, so I won't even start. Instead, just decide to read Chapter 1. Then, perhaps on another day, decide to read Chapter 2. For myself, having done that, I find enough to correct or change, I get uncomfortable *not* reading the rest aloud. I do mix reading it myself with having the computer read.

One caution about the computer read is that you might find your attention wandering. Mine does anyway. So it's best to do that in small, chapter-sized doses. There's nothing wrong with mixing things up. Also, don't forget you can change the computer's reading voice, which can also help.

Beta readers (good ones) are gold, but they are rarely proofreaders and not often good at copyedits. There are many things caught during read-aloud that beta readers won't catch. The most obvious is any unintentional awkwardness in phrasing. In general, the ear catches things the eye does not.

And still more generally, the more ways you can come at your story, the better. Yes it takes time. Most of us have more of that than we do money, and the only way to save on the time is to start hiring professionals.
 

BearBear

Troubadour
Don't think you have 120k
I have a million words in 12 books according to Microsoft Word. A few of them exceed 120k words by count.

I think I'd zone out if a computer read it. I guess I'll have to do it one chapter at a time.
 

skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
I know this is after the fact, but the time to assess and edit Book 1 is long before Book 12. Otherwise you've built a very tall mountain to climb, as you note.
 

BearBear

Troubadour
I know this is after the fact, but the time to assess and edit Book 1 is long before Book 12. Otherwise you've built a very tall mountain to climb, as you note.

These were just for fun mostly, but a couple are probably keepers. I edited them several times already but reading aloud sounded excessive. I know I'll find a ton more errors though.

If I was going to do this for real, they'd probably be 80k max and so I'd have to rewrite them from scratch but it's fun so you know.
 
I don't know if it works in Word (having never tried it), but if you have a program reading to you, see if you can increase the speed at which it reads. I've started doing this with some interesting, but very slow, Youtube video's. And your ears very quickly adjust to 1.5 speed or 2X speed. Cuts the time in half for the same result.
 

BearBear

Troubadour
I read speech aloud, to see if I have the cadence and pauses right. I try to match the speech style to the character.

There are so many details. Cadence, flow, style, voice... sometimes I wonder if all my characters sound the same to an outside reader.
 

Ban

Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
I often use text to speech when editing. I find myself spotting awkward sentence structures more easily when I hear my words spoken to me.
 
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