When I think I’m nearly done writing, I read the piece aloud.
It’s the tool I first used as a reporter Back East. I’d find my tongue tripping over a sentence or missing a word and that would send me back to the computer to fix it. It wasn’t hard. I worked at home when I was a reporter. Nobody but the dog beneath my feet could hear me.
I changed my ways when I moved to the newsroom to work as an editor. No one wants to hear anyone, certainly not an editor, talking to themselves at their desk.
And then, I became a fiction writer. At home, I could even shout whatever I wrote, although I never do, and no one would object. I’ve read short stories, essays, and entire novels aloud many times during the process. That’s what I’m doing right now, making my way through The Twin Jinn and the Alchemy Machine, the second novel in a series for readers 8-12 and above. In this book, the twins create an alchemy machine for their science fair project. The machine does indeed change metal into gold, and it gets them into a lot of trouble.
My tongue finds what my eyes missed. In some cases it’s been a misplaced “as” or a forgotten “the.” Other times, the words just don’t fall into place.
The Twin Jinn and the Alchemy Machine has about 200 pages. I reached the 125-page mark yesterday. I admit it’s a good read so far.
And, yes, I’ve read this piece aloud a couple of times before I posted it on my blog.