Echo words anyone?

Echo words anyone? (And other hiccups)

Every time I reach what I hope is the last version of my manuscript before I publish it, I read it aloud to find anything that I’ve missed that needs correction. The little devil on one shoulder says, “Don’t waste time reading it aloud. It’s fine. It’s a pretty cool book.” The little angel on the other shoulder says, “Even though you don’t want to spend the time reading it aloud, you know you’ll find so many things that need to be fixed. Fix it, and then it will actually be really cool, and you’ll be pretty happy.” So, actually, whether or not I want to spend the time, I always read it aloud. And actually, I find so many things that need to be fixed that I’m pretty happy that I’ve read it aloud. Other writers say to let it sit awhile before you do that. I know I should wait awhile, but, actually, I don’t always wait awhile to read it. Whether or not you read your manuscript aloud, or print it out like we did in the old days, let it sit awhile, and then read it, I urge you to do one or the other, so you’ll be pretty happy, too.



Susan P. Baker’s 6th Mavis Davis mystery, The Underground Murders, will be released in July.

8 replies
  1. Lois Winston
    Lois Winston says:

    I’m always amazed at how each time I go through my mss., I find something else that has slipped by, even after the book has been edited and vetted by others. (Sorry, Donnell!) I’m convinced that there’s never been a book in the history of publishing that’s been totally free of errors and typos. I find them in every book I read, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a first time indie author or a traditionally published Pulitzer Prize winning author. Errors slip under the radar. All we can do is try to catch as many as we can.

  2. Saralyn
    Saralyn says:

    When I taught journalism, I always lectured, “There’s no such thing as a perfect paper.” The same is true about a manuscript. Reading aloud is a great strategy, especially for auditory readers and passages such as dialogue. Great advice.

  3. Gay Yellen
    Gay Yellen says:

    My first editor gave me a list of words I tended to use too many times in my ms. As an editor myself, I was appalled at my reliance on about 15 of them. Since then, I’ve kept a running list of those and other words I find on my pages too often. That editor also said that every time a ms. is edited it might get close to 95% clean. Same percentage for the second run-through, and the third, etc. In other words, there’s almost always something that gets missed.

  4. Faye Buchholz
    Faye Buchholz says:

    I’m always surprised how many errors get by not just me, but even beta readers and editors too. Geez, how many did I make in the first place? The truth is I’m not a very good of a typist. I did think it was interesting to see how I use the same words a lot. After a while it wasn’t so funny 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this, I’m glad I found it.

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