Home   |   LCS Prints Store   |   About Me   |   FAQ   

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Hearing the Difference - IWSG February 2024

Welcome to IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. Thank you to this month’s co-hosts  Janet Alcorn, SE White, Victoria Marie Lees, and Cathrina Constantine.

Since I can’t say I’ve ever felt critical about an author’s webpage, I’m passing on this month’s question in favor of an update.

I wrote last month about the “Read Aloud” feature in word, and how it's helping me. It’s been such a success that after two passes through my most current project, I dared to ask a friend to beta read it. Before she left for a week sailing the Caribbean (insert envious sigh here), she’d plowed through most of it, calling me frequently to offer feedback. Other than multiple examples of missing end quotes and a couple of typos I didn't catch, her feedback has been positive and encouraging. Upon her return I’ll get her final analysis on the story.

As I suggested I would in last month's post, I’m now using “read aloud” to take a hard look at one of my earlier non-published books, which I haven’t edited with any seriousness since 2018. I love the story. Love it. But I crashed and burned querying and came to believe the book wasn’t ready, yet.

Conventional wisdom says leaving a project to rest for a while is a good thing. Perhaps leaving it to rest for a LONG while is better. I’m on my second “read aloud” edit and still believe in the novel. By listening to Word read to me, I’ve found places where I can tweak things to make them clearer, and where I've needed to cut to make the writing more concise. I always thought I was a better reader than listener. “Read aloud” has proved me wrong. But, the good news is that while I've found plenty that can use fixing, I’ve had more times in which I’ve found myself tickled, in a Holy Moly, I wrote this? kind of way. 

An author I love once said she didn't give up with her book because she refused to let something on which she worked so hard disappear into a drawer. I’ve got four somethings like that, two of which have yet to go through “read aloud” rigor.

Here’s hoping I’m not setting myself up for more crash and burn, but January was an optimistic month for me.

What has been your experience with the "read aloud" feature in word? What other editing tricks do you use?