Please welcome to Tabor Lane my friend Kevin Berry (@KevinBerryXXX), author of GROWING DISENCHANTMENTS and DRAGONS AWAY and soon to be released FOUNTAIN OF FOREVER. Kevin is one-half of a writing partnership with his former wife, Diane Berry. Kevin lives in Christchurch, New Zealand. That’s a long way from Lexington, KY.
I read GROWING DISENCHANTMENTS, loved it, and gave the story five stars. Here’s my review:
GROWING DISENCHANTMENTS is extremely creative. The story is full of amusing, well-developed characters who kept me laughing from page one with the appearance of a talking candlestick who "waited further illumination."
The cast of characters include: devilish sorcerers, a thief who jumps from one precarious situation to another, a philosophical gargoyle, jabbering furniture, an imp whose idea of fun creates danger for others, a self-absorbed King, and a time traveler who is always searching for a pair of pants. The tale even has a touch of romance. In this story it could be between an animated broom and dustpan, but the well-developed character arcs (of the humans) leave you believing in "happy-ever-afters."
The dialogue pops with lines like, "You'll wear me out with all that pacing," complained the rug beneath his (Ragonnard's) feet. If I'd read the paperback instead of the ebook it would be marked up with dozens of memorable lines.
While reading, I often thought how fun it would be to read this story to my grandchildren. If you're looking for a light read that will keep you entertained and guessing what will happen next to a delightful cast of characters, this book is for you.
Today on Tabor Lane, Kevin is talking about revising your novel. Take it away Kevin . . .
REVISE YOUR NOVEL BY READING IT ALOUD
No matter what stage of the editing process you are at, reading your novel or short story aloud can help. You can either read it to yourself, or find a willing victim or partner to listen to you read it, or ask them to read it to you (as long as you ask them to look at and read each word separately).
Lots of mistakes are more evident when you read aloud than when you silently read the the same text off the page or screen. For instance, did you spot the deliberate error in the previous sentence? If you read it quickly, or at normal speed, your brain may have skipped over the error, “auto-correcting” or “smoothing” it out, so you interpret the meaning rather than register the exact words. However, if you read it aloud and took care to scan and pronounce each word, you would probably have found it.
This works well because reading aloud forces you to slow down. Also, if you are silently reading your own work, it's easy to see what you think is there, rather than what actually is there, and the different process of reading aloud interrupts that.
There are other benefits to reading aloud than simply spotting double, missing or wrong words. It'll help you see if the language “works” or has the effect on the reader that you intend. You'll see if it has the right tone (too formal or too casual), especially in dialogue, where you can have fun by talking like you imagine your characters do (I don't suggest doing this in a café, as you might get odd looks). You'll be able to judge the pace of the story – is the action scene too slow, or is there too much back story at this point? It's also great to hear the rhythm of the sentences. Is there a good mix of short and long sentences, emphasising the pace of the story at that point? Or is the sentence structure not varied enough?
Is the writing too passive? Reading it aloud will reveal that more readily than reading it silently. You'll also spot places where the punctuation may be wrong, such as missing commas, by reading aloud. If there's any awkwardness in a sentence, you'll stumble over the clunky bit when reading aloud, whereas you may miss it altogether if reading silently.
Finally, if you get bored reading it aloud, then your reader probably will too!
Thanks for stopping by, Kevin. If you want to read more about Kevin and his books, you can find him on Twitter @KevinBerryxxx or on his Website.
If you missed my writing & marketing tweets and retweets yesterday, here they are again:
- How Do Authors Reach *Readers*? http://ow.ly/gPKwG @annerallen RT @elizabethscraig
- I Want to Write Fiction. So, Um, Where Do I Start? http://ow.ly/gPKGs RT @Janice_Hardy
- Is Nobody Sharing Your Content? Find a Quick Fix http://ow.ly/gPKLW RT @Bookgal
- 17 Links to Writing & Marketing Blog Posts You Might Find Helpful & Comments From Author James Moushon @jimhbs http://ow.ly/gPKTz
- Ending A Chapter http://ow.ly/gPL6E "Sometimes you just have to listen to your instincts."
- Tips for authors for getting their books into local bookstores http://ow.ly/gPLcN @bizauthor RT @elizabethscraig
- JustRetweet: A Free Traffic-Building Resource for Bloggers and Twitter Users http://ow.ly/gPLxV
- Taking the Scary out of Scrivener http://ow.ly/gPJpg If you've thought about using this software, this will answer your questions.
- 5 Examples of Misplaced Modifiers http://ow.ly/gPb9W via Daily Writing Tips
- 17 Links to Writing & Marketing Blog Posts You Might Find Helpful & Comments From Author James Moushon @jimhbs http://ow.ly/gP7aN
- How to Surprise Your Reader in a Downton Abbey World http://ow.ly/gPQ8S
- 5 Things I Learned in My First Year of Self-Publishing http://ow.ly/gPRZ7 via @cslakin
- Sex Scenes http://ow.ly/gQrG1 @RRBrunet How much sex can your novel have before it becomes a romance, erotica, or just plain blue?
- The BIG Question: What Should Fiction Writers Blog About? http://ow.ly/gQrUC @JodyHedlund
- Stop Waiting to Be Picked http://ow.ly/gQs49 via @jeffgoins
- 7 Elements of an Effective Landing Page Designed to Increase Your Mailing List Part 1
- http://ow.ly/gQsbe via @KarenCV
- 5 Top Tips to Making Your Cover Look Professional http://ow.ly/gPLqR @BubbleCow RT @Bookgal
- Do the Little Things in Life (Like Typos) Really Matter? http://ow.ly/gPLlj via @JeffGoins
I’m always looking for great content to share. If you have a writing and/or marketing blog, or have a favorite that you visit often, please leave a link in the comment section. Thanks for stopping by.
Happy writing & running, Kathy