Tuesday, October 9, 2012

An Editing MUST!

You know when people give you tips about that final edit before you send it off to your editor one last time, and you say, "That's really cool, I should do that." And you don't? Well, I wish I had done one.

READ YOUR BOOK OUT LOUD. ALL OF IT.

Yes, I'm shouting at you, because I always thought this was cool advice, advice I'd given in the past to other writers. I didn't do it on Exceeding Boundaries and now I am kicking myself. 

I've always recommended to critique partners or when I judged contest entries that they should read parts of their story out loud. Sometimes there are sentences that look awesome on paper, but man oh man, are they ridiculous when you read them out loud. Sometimes we miss words with our eyes that you discover when you read it out loud. And sometimes we writers get into a rhythm of words that makes our sentences all the same length and pattern. It may sound like a good thing, but this actually messes with your pacing.

Think of that teacher in school who would go on and on in a monotonous tone and put you to sleep. Mine was a professor in college who taught macroeconomics for an 8AM class. This sounded really smart at the time, because I'd be awake and the class would be over and done with since it was not a favorite subject. Bad idea. He'd speak in the same, deep, soothing tone and I'd be drooling on the desk and snoring in ten minutes. There wasn't enough coffee in the world to keep me awake since Dunkin Donuts didn't do turbo shots then. You don't want your book to become like this, especially in an exciting part. If your reader falls asleep while your heroine is about to get laid or is escaping death, it probably means a bad review later on. 

Well, this tidbit of advice is coming around to bite me in the ass because Exceeding Boundaries going to become an audio book. I've heard the opening scene and it was freaky weird and fantastic, all at the same time. That woman was reading my words. She sounds barely legal and I'm sure she's beautiful and elegant. I think she was a little exited in a few parts, and yes, I cringed when she hit a buzz word. And a swear. But it was so freaking cool, and I'm kicking myself because though that snippet sounded awesome, I know there are parts I will cringe over in many ways. 

First, just because I write the buzz words doesn't mean I say them out loud. EVER. I know, you picture me the princess of the filthy mouth, dirty talking and sexing Mr. Downing every chance I get. In all honesty, I don't say those words. I can f-bomb with the best of them, but when you start getting personal about the genitalia, I get all shy. My friend used to joke because she had no problem saying those words, but she could write them. I'm the opposite. She'd call me up and scream, "Just say it!" And I'd cringe and turn all pink and say, "The female P word." So hearing those words are just going to be torture. 

Second, I'm sure there a few sentences in there that poor woman is going to seek me out and choke me over. I picture her on my front lawn with tar, feathers and duct tape (because what in life is fun or productive without duct tape?) And then she'll read the offensive sentences over and over as she applies the hot tar and sticks the feathers on me. I hope they're nice feathers. I'd prefer something fun, but I know I'll end up with boring white ones. 

I have no clue how long it takes to make an audio book, or where you can buy it, or what. I'll update you on that when it happens. But for right now, some woman out there is reading my book aloud. I hope there are no kids in the room and I hope it all flows really well. 

You better believe I'm reading the next one out loud. All of it.

12 comments:

Mona Karel said...

Even better, have someone who has never seen your book read it out loud. You will CRINGE at some of your wording. If they don't have a great speaking voice all the better!

Mia Downing said...

LOL Mona, I'll have to try that, too! I would love Sean Connery to come read my spy books for me. OMG I'd just die.

R Chazz Chute said...

To save my throat, I use the Read4Me app to assist me with proofing. Useful.

Mia Downing said...

R Chazz, I haven't tried that but I know a friend uses it for beta reading! I need Santa to bring me lots of stuff this Chistmas.

Gina said...

Such good advice, Mia. I read mine into the 'record' facility on my phone and play it back. Also, uploading it to Kindle really, somehow, gives a fresh angle. Do any of you do that?

Kathryn R. Blake said...

I used to read my books out loud to my critique group. Back then I wrote spicy and few if any "buzz" words. Now that I've switched to kinkier writing, I've lost my support group. I miss them, but they are really uncomfortable with kink, so I spare them. I'll have to find some way to read aloud again, maybe into a tape recorder. Great advice. Thanks.

Bob said...

All writing needs to be edited and the proof copy of the book should be reviewed with an editors eye so the best version possible is what the reader holds in their hands.

This is great advice for new and seasoned writers.

Alcare ePublishing said...

Great advice! I definitely be checking out the read for me app.

http://epublishingdreams.blogspot.com

Mia Downing said...

Gina, I've just started to request galleys in Kindle because it really looks differently. My publisher does thorough edits, a final copy edit and we proof galleys, but I always seem to miss something. But when they contracted this book, I hadn't dreamed of going audio with it!

Mia Downing said...

Kathryn, if you lived nearby, we could read to each other!

Bob, yes, I agree on everything needing an editor. I hired my editor to freelance for me on my independent books, too, so they'd be top-quality.

Alcare ePub, thanks for stopping by! I want to check out the app, too. I think it's a great idea.

Rinelle Grey said...

I've just started doing this, and I'm amazed at what a difference it makes! I've only done a couple of chapters, and I've already caught a couple of errors that I've missed on silent read throughs!

Mia Downing said...

I'm so glad this was helpful, Rinelle. Thanks for stopping by.

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