Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fear of Proofreading

I confess, there's one part of the writing process I dread the most. I shouldn't. I should be in an almost celebratory stage, for proofreading means the project is almost done. I should be singing, "I'm at the last step!"

Yet, this is the part where I am most likely to doubt and question everything I've written on the page.

Thousands of questions flood my mind: Does this even make sense? Why does this sentence sound weird? Does a comma really need to go there? Did I miss a letter spell check didn't mark?

This time I tried something different;  I read my manuscript aloud.

As I have mentioned in other posts, hearing writing brings a new perspective to the language.

I broke up the readings into parts and even read in character.

The result: It was much easier for me to find typos and illogical sentences. Repeated words jumped out clearly and awkward phrasing stuck like peanut butter in my mouth. I've read through this manuscript so many times, but hearing the words was a different experience altogether.

So now I know what I'm going to every time I proofread
Or proofspeak.

Have you ever read your work aloud? What did you find in the process?


  1. Sometimes when I read my work I think, "Not horrible, keep it coming, Hot Stuff!" Then I read it aloud the next day and curse my idiocy, kick myself and try to figure out why I thought I was a writer. Reading aloud definitely shows me my trouble spots. Kind of like looking in the mirror under florescent lights.

  2. Hi Faith,
    I know what you mean about looking in the mirror.
    I like the Hot Stuff mindset best. :)