I’ve read several books on writing that advise reading your work out loud because ‘the ear is a better editor than the eye’. This is so true and yet it is a simple technique that many writers (including me) often overlook. I’m a member of a writers’ circle in Cardiff where people can bring their work and read it aloud and then receive praise and criticism from others. I’ve often read a piece there for the first time and stumbled over my words, quietly chiding myself for not having read it aloud at home first. It’s embarrassing not being able to finish a sentence because it’s so long you run out of breath before the end, or discovering you’ve repeated the same word three times in one paragraph.
While you may feel a bit silly reading your work out loud in the privacy of your own study, you’ll feel much more foolish if the first time you spot a mistake is when you’re reading it in front of others, especially one that could so easily have been corrected!
It’s also wonderful practice for that time when you’re invited along to a book group or a writers’ conference and asked to read a passage from your best seller!
If you live near Cardiff, South Wales and fancy reading your work to a friendly, knowledgeable and supportive group then why not give Cardiff Writers’ Circle a try?
Full details of our programme and where we meet can be found on the Cardiff Writers’ Circle website: www.cardiffwriterscircle.org
If you live elsewhere in the UK, and want to find a writers’ group near you check the National Association of Writers’ Groups website: http://www.nawg.co.uk/category/writing-groups/
If you’re reading this in another country and would like to add a link to your own writers’ group please feel free to do so in a comment.