Here’s the review of the 7 steps in “How to Make Your Novel Sellable”:
- Initial Read Through
- Seek and Destroy Problem Words
- In-depth Word Analysis
- Read it Out
- Get Some Feedback
- Let it Rest
Step #4: Read It Out
This is the simplest step, but may be one of the hardest. All you have to do is read your story aloud, acting it out as much as possible. The difficult part is getting past the awkwardness of reading aloud to no one (or even greater awkwardness of reading to someone). Then there’s the paranoia that someone will discover you acting out your book. You might die of embarrassment. Be warned.
The good news? It’s worth it and is a critical step. Okay, so they all are critical steps, but that means you shouldn’t skip this one. You won’t see the benefit until you actually do it.
Here’s why it’s important. Reading your work helps you detect falseness, especially in dialogue. It’ll help you catch things that don’t work. I had a friend write a scene where a woman held a photo in one hand, her handbag in the other, and then shook someone’s hand. By acting it out, she’d realize the woman would need to quickly grow a third arm. This wasn’t sci-fi, so she fixed it.
Getting practice reading is important. If you’re going to become a big famous author, guess what you’ll have to do frequently? Readings! Don’t wait until your first reading is scheduled to freak out over doing it well. Get the practice in where no one can hear you, and you’ll be a pro by the time you have to read in front of people (though I would recommend reading in front of people when you do have to give a reading so that you can practice posture and looking up at your audience).
While you’re reading, when you catch something, make a quick note of it, but don’t stop too long. Keep the momentum going.
I know this seems like an unimportant step, but I know many authors who do this and recommend this. It’s important. The first time you catch some off bit of dialogue, you’ll see why.