Dog Days (Or, Listening to Your Work)

Dog daysWhat happened to August? When did Dog Days turn into one of the busiest times of year in publishing?

Okay, enough about me. How are YOU spending this last month of summer?

If you’ve been writing and/or revising, perhaps you’re working against the back-to-school timeline that is ingrained in so many of our psyches. These August days are good days to sit with your work, maybe share it with trusted readers, and use the stillness of summer to really listen to your prose.

What do I mean by “listen?” Well, have your read parts of your work aloud? You don’t need an audience for this exercise – but you do need to listen to your work and hear where the seams are showing; that is, where you stumble, where sentences feel run-on, where dialogue sounds stilted or choppy or gimmicky.

I’ve met authors who confess they’re embarrassed to try this, even when they’re alone. I understand – it feels a little crazy. Try it, though! I swear by reading aloud as a great diagnostic tool in revision. I hope it works for you!

Author spotlight

Liz S.

Hi, I'm the Editor-in-Chief at Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan. I've worked in the book biz for over 30 years (let's just …

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