Friday, July 31, 2020


       “You’re not reading that right!” said a new member of my critique group with dismay sprawled across her face. 
         It might have been me years ago when I first joined them. I was used to other writers silently reading five to ten pages of my fabulous, neatly typed and copied pages of my latest writing project 
       But over the years, I’ve learned there is no right way to read a manuscript. A person can only read what the writer has typed and submitted to the group. If they’ve typed a boring manuscript, the reader will read a boring manuscript. I’ve silently groaned while listening to my words that I thought were perfect.
Try it. During the reading, listen for overused words. Even your favorite, most active verb has a life span. Search for a replacement. Read other writers in your genre. Sometimes I type the paragraph or paragraphs that make my heart beat faster. The simple act of typing forces me to think more deeply about the words on the page.
       If a paragraph or a page makes your heart beat faster, read it aloud and focus on the “how”. Just how did the author bring magic to the page?

Posted by Gwendolyn Hooks

1 comment:

April Halprin Wayland said...

Excellent, pithy advice. Reading my picture book manuscripts and poems aloud always helps me make them stronger. Thanks for the reminder!