A Novel in the Light of Day

I’ve been writing a long time. I’ve always been a writer, I guess, even as a small boy that’s all I ever wanted to do. But I have been doing this full-time since 1998.

One of the things I have learned is how to read other writers. When I read their stories or novels I see tricks and things they use to advance the plot, develop character, and so on. It’s pretty neat, having this insight into other writers. I am not saying I always see these things. But sometimes I do.

It’s kind of cool and I wonder if other writers do it when they read stories. I’m sure they do, probably to a greater degree than I can. But there’s a downside to this, too, at least for me. I very rarely read anything for pleasure anymore. I am always reading with a critical eye and wondering why the writer did this, or used that, or decided to cut short a scene. When I was young I read for pleasure. It’s a rare occurrence for me now. I admit that kind of bums me out.

I mention this because tomorrow I start the edit on the novel. When I finished the first draft I decided I would let the novel cool for two weeks before I ever looked at it again. Two weeks happens to end tomorrow. I am going to stick to my schedule.

I am looking forward to working on this very much. I have written about the process I went through to get this novel’s first draft done. I continue to be flabbergasted how it came together at the last minute…although admittedly I worked (better read that as: struggled) with the novel for over a year and a half.

Anyway, tomorrow I start the rewrite and edit. I think I will plan three rewrites. The first to get the novel cohesive and the timelines correct, the second will be to make sure it all looks okay….and the third I will read the entire novel out loud, and make corrections accordingly.

Reading your work aloud is one of the best ways to see (and hear) if your story “sounds” right to the ear, and subsequently, to the inner voice of the reader. Truman Capote said he wrote for the ear, not the eye, and I think it’s a good formula. I have never read an entire novel of mine out loud, but this novel is important to me in a lot of ways so I will go that extra mile. When I was writing it or working through a difficult scene, I would read it aloud. That helped a lot with the creation process, I admit.

I’ve already done so much to get this novel written in the first place. The least I can do is read it out loud to make sure the final version is as strong as I can possibly make it. It will take some time, but it’s a small sacrifice considering what I have already done to bring it to the light of day.

3 Replies to “A Novel in the Light of Day”

  1. I love the idea of reading an entire novel aloud. I imagine it must take a long time, due to your voice giving out after an hour or two of reading. I recently went through proofreading my own novel, and I got about two pages in reading aloud before I gave up. Then again, I had to get the proofreading done in three days, so I didn’t really have the option to spread the reading out over a few weeks and let my voice rest properly between sessions.

    Have a blast with your rewrites and edits 🙂 And Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!

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