Does Reading Aloud Your Manuscript Help?

Does Reading Aloud Your Manuscript Help?

Writing is creative. The words flow, your characters are built and they welcome you in your procreation. Writing is inspirational, therapeutic and possibly the most wonderful feeling of being creative. If writing is blissful to you, then take a pause. You must know that the bliss is always followed by a horrifying job of editing. I am sure most of the writers will endorse my views here. Editing does freak people out. It is the least favourite part of a writer’s writing journey.

Once in one of my content development classes, I was asked a very simple question. How to make any manuscript strong? The answer to this query never ends on a full stop. As I wear the editor’s cloak, my first question to every writer remains the same. Have you read your manuscript aloud?

Let me add a little biology to this concept of reading aloud. Our brain is like a CPU. It channels a certain amount of processing while we read inside our head. We see we analyze and then we comprehend. However, as we read aloud, an auditory factor is introduced. It makes our brain slow down the process a little and we tend to understand the manuscript far more judiciously. In short, reading your manuscript aloud helps in better comprehension and you end up catching the mistakes quickly.

Just have a look. What all ‘reading aloud’ can do to your manuscript?

·         Spell-Checks: We are so familiar with our storyline that we tend to miss the minute spelling errors while on mental reading. The first step in making a strong manuscript is to clear it from any spelling mistakes.

·         Finding The Lost Punctuation: The biggest advantage of reading aloud is you find out whatever you’ve lost or missed during the writing process. Punctuation matters. With a simple comma, you can save your line from going into a coma. (That’s one of my favorite lines for any writer)

·         Overcoming The Nonessentials: You would have spent half a decade writing a book worth some half a million words. Just revise what Mark Twain said about editing and sit to read aloud your manuscript. You must get rid of unnecessary statements, overly used linguistic jargons and everything that pulls your manuscript down. Reading aloud helps you to make your script crisp and concise and make it a better read for your actual readers in the market.

·         Get Rid Of Repetitions: The one thing that irritates a reader is repetitive words or monotonous structuring of sentences. For example, three consecutive lines starting with I or placing complex sentences repeatedly. Read any good author around the world and you will find how a medley of simple and compound sentences make a better read. While you read aloud your manuscript, you no longer remain closed in the writer’s coccoon. You become a reader and can find out where is it going wrong.

·         How Is The Pacing: Every manuscript comes with a dull moment. Though the writer in you knows the essentiality of that dull moment, still your manuscript must not give a blah impression. Reading aloud helps in chalking the lines clear. Identifying the issues in your writing is a little painful, nevertheless, it finally hones your creative skills.

·         Confusing Passages: Read aloud a passage. Once. Twice. Or maybe three times. You may have great creative writing skill, a thorough grip on the grammar, still are you liking your narration? Do they make sense? Once you read aloud, all your senses focus on the lines and you can churn out any confusing composition.

·         Get Rid Of The Unrealistic Dialogues: In real life, we are accustomed to hearing a relaxed and normal way of speaking. While reading aloud, you can find out if your character’s dialogue delivery needs any refinement. After all, the Shakespearean era is gone and your 21st century brought up character won’t speak like Macbeth.

There are innumerable benefits of reading aloud and if I sit to write about all, one blog post won’t be enough. The gist of the story is simple. Not every reader necessarily becomes a writer, however, every writer must become a reader at some point in time. 

Author: Atrayee Bhattacharya

Atrayee is a certified Health Educator and works in the internal communications department of an MNC. She is a professional editor, content writing coach and has worked on many bestselling projects. She is a storyteller herself and loves to pen down human emotions with a satirical twist. 


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