Shout It Out Loud

There are lots of “Rules of Writing” posts out there, collecting everyone’s thoughts on the matter, from Neil Gaiman to Elmore Leonard and beyond.

There are more than a few quotable quotes strung from one end of the internet to the other.

I imagine that at some point or another, we who make our way through the world by stringing words together, have taken a more than passing interest in these lists and ruminations. Obsessively even.

I’ve a shelf at home with several books collecting even more extensive thoughts on the matter, by the likes of King, Bradbury, Koontz, Goodkind, J.N. Williamson, and numerous others.

I’ll be honest with you… they’ve not helped me write a single word.

I am fascinated, however, by the way other writers think and what they think about the craft itself.

Not because I’m looking for insight into the hows and why fors, but for what it says and reveals about them, in a nutshell.

I know everyone’s not in the same boat on that, but more than a handful of us are.

Still, if you were to corner me and ask for the third best piece of writerly advice one could share, seeing as how the first and best bit is the charming “put-ass-in-chair” edict, with the second being to “read, and read lots”, then it would be this:

Read what you bloody write aloud.

Good writing, especially good dialogue, has rhythm. It’s natural. It flows. It’s got a sense of style and purpose and it rolls off the tongue.

It’s as simple as that.


3 Responses to “Shout It Out Loud”

  1. Tim Prasil Says:

    Yes! Yes, I agree loudly with reading aloud.

    In fact, I’ll add: Read aloud to someone. Telling a story is an act of communication, in some ways, a recitation and a performance. Being mindful of one’s audience is key. The “write for yourself” philosophy has a lot of merit, but that’s more about subject matter and inventive techniques — things that are worth sharing rather than keeping secret.

  2. […] Read it aloud to my wife to hear how it looks. […]

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