How to Edit Your Writing

a pen and a journal

Write, Read, Revise

Are you working on a novel, like I am, and need to edit your writing? It’s not easy but there are a few tricks that writers use, like starting at the back and reading forward, setting the writing aside for a few days and coming back to it, and reading it aloud. Each of those techniques is helpful but I recently discovered another resource that has made a powerful impact on my revision process called Readers Aloud.

Listen Carefully

When you join Readers Aloud, you have the opportunity to ask other members to read your writing out loud and record it. They then send you the file, you listen to the playback and make changes as necessary.

I was incredibly lucky to have Nicolas Frantela read my work. He is a professional narrator! You’ve got to check out his blog The Eternal Loop. His voice was liquid, smooth, like sonic honey. My characters sprung into life at the sound of his voice. Just recently, The Healings, a book narrated by Nicolas went on sale at Amazon. I will get it just to hear him read it.

Hearing your work read aloud in someone else’s voice is clarifying and incredibly valuable. I could tell right away what parts needed to be changed so they sounded fluid and natural. I was also proud when I heard certain sections flow right off my reader’s tongue. It feels so good to know something I wrote sounds wonderful.

It’s never going to be easy to edit your writing. There will be phrases that are dear to you, that took you forever to construct. But if they don’t sound right when read by someone else, it’s a problem. You need to be ready to chop, rewrite, and add until it’s crystal clear.

All writers should check out Readers Aloud and Studio 30, another great online community for writers. And don’t forget to be generous with your own time and read someone else’s work!