As an aspiring writer, most of my life takes place on a computer screen. I see my words, how they look on a page. But hearing them spoken aloud is a whole different experience.
Last week I purchased a digital voice recorder as a part of my two-month marathon to finish my manuscript.
I have been reading each chapter into the voice recorder. I have a paper copy of the chapter in front of me as I read. Then, I go back and listen to the recording and make edits on the paper.
I have found the voice recorder helpful for finding awkward wording, repetitive phrasing, excessive adjectives/adverbs and generally unnecessary fluff words.
Sometimes it takes more than just seeing the words on the computer screen to be able to evaluate my own writing. Especially when it is a piece that I have been working on for almost a year!
Here are a few before and after sentences to show how the voice recorder has helped my writing:
Before: The DJ was dwarfed by the expanse of her loft. The cavernous ceilings were lined with large industrial piping; blank white walls shrunk her further.
After: Blank walls and cavernous ceilings lined with industrial piping dwarfed her.
Before: She wrote up the contracts and then sat behind a desk by the front door and interviewed long lines of eager candidates.
After: After writing the contracts, she sat behind a desk near the entrance and interviewed candidates.
Before: She was dressed in normal street clothes, but Crazy Woodsum could tell that her body underneath was salacious.
After: Her body under street clothes was salacious.
Several writers had recommended using a voice recorder as I go through revisions. Now, I feel like it is my duty to spread along this piece of advice to other aspiring writers out there.