The Ear

Just recently, a friend and fellow writer offered to read the opening chapters of my book aloud for me. I’m very excited and grateful, because I think this will be a huge help in highlighting any rough spots I need to polish. I’m going to print out a copy of the chapters in 14 point type so it will be easier to read. I’m also going to bring my tape recorder. During out session, I’m just going to listen; later, I’ll go back and replay my recording to identify any rough patches.

Reading aloud is so important that I’ve gathered some writing quotes about it to inspire and encourage you to consider it:

“The ear is the only true writer and the only true reader.”
Robert Frost

“Always write (and read) with the ear, not the eye. You should hear every sentence you write as if it was being read aloud or spoken.”
C. S. Lewis

“Ever since I was first read to, then started reading to myself, there has ever been a line read that I didn’t ‘hear.’ As my eyes followed the sentence, a voice was saying it silently to me. It isn’t my mother’s voice, or the voice of any person I can identify, certainly not my own. It is human, but inward, and it is inwardly that I listen to it. It is to me the voice of the story or the poem itself . . . .”

“My own words, when I am at work on a story, I hear too as they go, in the same voice that I hear when I read in books. When I write and the sound of it comes back to my ears, then I act to make changes. I have always trusted this voice.”
Eudora Welty

“I still read everything aloud. I have a fundamental conviction that if a sentence cannot be read aloud with sincerity, conviction, and communicable emphasis, it’s not a good sentence. Good writing requires good rhythms and good words.”
Richard Marius

“Every book should have its own voice — what you hear in your head as you
read to yourself.”
Mary Lee Settle

Once my “recording session” is over, I’ll share any findings and insights I gather from it. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot because I’ll be standing outside my work listening to it, rather than inside it. That sense of distance can be so helpful and revealing. Write on.

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About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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2 Responses to The Ear

  1. I’ve always read what I’ve written out loud, but I’ve never recorded it. That’s a nifty idea. Good luck on your recording and thanks for the interesting post.

    • Hi James,

      Thanks so much for your kind note and for sharing your own
      experience with reading aloud. I’ve been doing it for quite
      a while myself and always find it so revealing. It really
      has helped me to record my writing when I read it aloud —
      I’m glad this idea strikes a chord with you. If you give recording
      a go, I’d love to know if it proves helpful to you.

      Write on,
      Karin

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