The Super Editing Tool: Read your Story Aloud.

I’m off to a script read-through later today.  I’m wondering what discoveries I will find hearing others read the script.

Reading your story aloud is one of the best ways to hear little glitches in story construction, dialogue, syntax rhythm and word use.  Stop and fix them.

Even more important for the writer is to hear somebody else read your story.  You hear it one way in your head.  You may be surprised to hear another person read the exact same words with a completely different interpretation.

The film industry has a good understanding of this.  Read, talk, change:  it is an accepted practice.

Independent writer/producers often skip this step.  As producers they think It’s my story.  I know what I want. This may be true, but hearing your story first is a very good way to tighten up gaps and gaffs.  Do the best for your story.  Hear it read aloud before you start pre-production.

Fiction writers have a bigger challenge.  A novel is much, much longer than 100 to 110 pages of a script.  One of the best ways to hear your story is to participate in a writing group.  Instead of reading your passage to the other members, take advantage of the opportunity to hear somebody else read your story.

Your readers do not even need to be “good” readers.  No inflection?  No interpretation?  Just the words?  It’s OK.  You will hear words that don’t work, phrases that bump, scenes that need to be cut or severely edited.

Even if you live in an isolated bubble with no spouse, no writing group, no other film folks you can read your own story aloud.  It’s different than hearing it in your head.  You will make discoveries about the flow. Give it a try.

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