Moving Your Lips When You Read

Anyone who’s seen me in the last week or so might have noticed that I appear to have a frog lodged permanently in my throat.  I am rather croaky and prone to small coughing fits.  Just for once it’s not allergies.  I’ve been reading my book.  Out loud.

All of it.

Daft as it sounds, I now do this with every book I write.  Somewhere between books 2 and 3, I discovered that listening to the text reveals certain things that I would miss if I just read it silently to myself.  It’s the best way of telling if a piece flows the way I want it to, and it’s the most efficient method of catching unwanted repetitions and other awkward phrases.


Oh, yes please

The problem with this approach is that it takes for ever.  (With a book as big as this one, perhaps even longer than that.)  Every morning I creep downstairs at five o’clock, make a cup of coffee, and then start talking – pen in hand, ready to swoop down and scratch out infelicitous phrases.  My wife would be astonished to hear me say it, but it’s exhausting to talk non-stop for such extended periods of time.  I very quickly grow tired of the sound of my own voice [those who know me – insert your own joke here.]  Still, it’s astonishing how many little things I’m picking up during this process that I have missed the previous three hundred and forty-two times I’ve read the damned thing.  If we sell the audiobook rights, I’m going to send the poor bugger who has to read it a big bag of cough sweets.

On a related subject, my inaugural podcasty-type thing is ready to be unleashed on the world.  Soon-ish.  Watch this space.

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