You must go back to move forward. That point is true in a lot of different aspects of life, but I’m specifically referring to writing. When you look at your creative venture and say ‘Yeah, I’m done’, only then do you start reading it again. From the end.
It sounds crazy, but it’s true. I’ve done it. It works. You’re no longer focusing on how the plot flows, or if your characters ring true, or any other of the myriad details that ultimately make your work…well…work. Instead, you’ll be reading for spelling and grammatical errors that your spell checker missed.
I know it sounds so simple that you’re probably wondering ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’
Good question. Why didn’t you? 😉
The other point I want to touch on briefly is the beauty of reading aloud. It’s more difficult to read out loud, sure, but it’s really worth it. Reading out loud allows you to ‘catch’ all those pesky sentences that look beautiful on the page but are, in reality, a cluster of tongue twisting phrases you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
Not only that, but people really, honestly, do use contractions. 😀 Go ahead and read a paragraph of dialogue with little to no contractions aloud. If you’re like me, your brain will try to automatically substitute contractions where there aren’t any. Go ahead. You’ll see what I mean.