Publishing and Media

Read Your Manuscript Aloud

Glimmer Train used to provide subscribers with a booklet called “Writers Ask,” in which fiction writers talk about their craft, work habits, challenges, and other matters to do with putting words into an interesting order and getting them printed by a publisher. Here’s Ann Patchett offering a great tip for writers to help them revise:

I always read my books aloud when I’m finished, and it’s always torture. But there are things you catch when you hear it that you just can’t see when reading. While working on “The Magician’s Assistant,” I got my dog, Rose. When I finished I read the novel aloud to my grandmother. Every third metaphor in the book was a dog metaphor: “He stretched out on the floor like a dog”; “Her hair was like a bunch of springer spaniels.” Every time I heard the word “dog,” it hit me like a gong.