Writing is fun. Revising, not so much. Maybe the first revision is fun, but by the time you’ve gone over it and over it, you’re tired of it. And a lot of times it’s hard to see any mistakes because your brain fills in the gap.
Some of the best advice you will hear from anyone is “Read your writing aloud.” I heard it just today on a writing podcast.
Reading aloud helps you better understand what your readers will hear in their heads. (You’re in charge of putting voices in peoples’ heads. How cool is that?)
Reading aloud also prevents you from skipping over the holes. It’s like roller skating down a freshly paved road to see how smooth it is.
But I struggle with this. Again, by the time I’ve finished by revisions and I am at the last walk-through, I am tired of it. Plus, I start to see issues and try to correct them as I am reading aloud. I get lost, stalled, and I have to start all over again.
Here’s my genius tip. Use the text-to-speech function on your phone/tablet/computer.
Text-to-speech has become incredibly natural. And you can choose from an array of voices–male/female, various accents, even different languages. (Mine is a British guy. He’s quite dashing. And it makes my writing sound super classy.)
So, when I think I am about done, I pull up the doc on my phone. I Select All and then select Speak. I follow the words on my computer.
If I see a little problem, I fix it while still listening to the text-to-speech. If I see a bigger problem, I underline it and come back to it later.
And hearing your writing helps when considering your audience. If I am writing for my masculine branded client, I’m going to want to hear a masculine voice. (It’s possible the British guy isn’t very masculine, if you know what I mean. So…)
If I am writing for a female audience, depending on the goals of the writing, I will use a female voice. If it’s more formal, a British female. Because they’re fancy.
Using text-to-speech helps me catch issues I had previously excused without even realizing it. And it makes my writing sound great!
Next time you revise, try it out. Use different voices. Which one do you want your writing to sound like? Which one fits your client/audience the best?
Do you have any simple but highly effective writing tips?