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A Very Easy Way to Improve Your Writing

Here’s a quick and easy way to improve your writing, I hope.

Read it out loud. This has saved me (and my editor) a lot of headaches.

You’ll be amazed, and occasionally horrified, at how things sound sometimes, even if you thought they were the apotheosis of literary majesty.

This simple practice reduces the time I have to spend revising and cutting. For that reason alone, I’ll never stop.

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  • Spencer February 8, 2012, 3:44 pm

    I do this. Not fully out loud, but in a sort of half-audible mantra mumble (I am, in fact, doing it right now, I realize, involuntarily, with this comment). People will walk by my office and give me worried looks like I am teetering on the brink of a psychotic break. The bolder of them ask if I am all right. And I now have the perfect answer: “I’m being an awesome writer; SHUT UP!”

  • Tom Reber February 8, 2012, 8:17 pm

    Great, simple advice. I also will sit on it for a while and then come back and read it out loud….

  • Eric | Eden Journal February 9, 2012, 6:09 am

    I do something similar. I use the Read out loud feature in Acrobat Reader or on my Kindle. Basically does the same thing, but I get to sit back and listen without having to look at the text.

  • DC5 February 11, 2012, 12:13 am

    I like to read my writing out loud. It’s a great way to detect the proper rhythm for a piece.