Read Your Sentences Aloud
I read this post from a friend of mine and was reminded of something John Cheever wrote in the forward to his collection of stories. He said, “My favorite stories are those that were written in less than a week and that were often composed aloud.”
At about the same time that a read that post, a poet friend of mine suggested reading my sentences aloud while composing. I’ve found that the technique works best when it comes time to hone and shape a sentence, not necessarily in the first draft. For me, the first ugly draft is about getting the ideas on the page as best I can. But at some point, I’m interested in crafting beautiful sentences that contain just the right words. That’s when it makes sense to start reading them aloud. Try it and let me know if it works for you.
Related Post: Sentences Are the Pack Mules of Literature
Photo: Wonderlane / Flickr Creative Commons
I usually print out a draft and then read it aloud into the recording device on my phone, noting the words I stumble over by marking them with pen. I find it helpful, particularly on the first read through.
That’s a great idea to record it and play it back. You are one brave soul!