Saturday, March 5, 2016

How does this sound?

By Lacey Gunter

Online social networks have seeped their way into every part of our modern culture. No reputable writing conference these days would dare leave out a class or panel discussion on the importance and integration of social networks in the publishing process. But one could easily argue that they have become just as integrated into the writing process as well.

With a large portion of our ranks being introverts, it's no surprise that many writers prefer online social networks for finding and receiving feedback on their writing.  There are a lot of good reasons for this. You have much greater access to writers in your genre or even sub genre. Critiques can be done on a more flexible schedule, in the comfort of your own home or wherever else you prefer.  Comments can be made and received by monitor, so less confrontation and no game face needed.  Likewise, an author can collect their thoughts and calm down before any interacting, rather than suffer from knee jerk reactions.  Taken as a whole they are a great resource for writers seeking to improve their craft.

I frequently use this avenue for getting critiques on my writing. However, I am a strong believer that online and social networks should augment a writer's resources for writing feedback, rather than replace it. The biggest reason I suggest this is that there is great value in hearing your writing read aloud by someone else.

We know how things are supposed to sound in our head. But we are not the voice in our reader's head. Hearing your writing read aloud by someone else allows you to assess whether the reader can replicate your desired rhythm and pacing. It helps you understand if you are setting the right tone and whether your jokes sound as witty when someone who doesn't already know the punch line reads them. It gives you a sense of how events and dialogue might get interpreted and the overall emotion your writing leaves with the reader.

Some of the these things can and do get expressed in online critiques, but usually only when they are a significant issue.  Being in person and hearing the sounds and seeing the facial expressions and body language give you another level of feedback that no one will say to you.

This is just one reason, of course. There are many other good reasons as well. The best part is, your online social networks can also be used to find in person critique partners. You just have to put a little more effort into it.

Now, if I could just find someone to read this blog post aloud to me.

Happy critiquing.

1 comment:

  1. While I have heard that you should read your own work out loud, I had never thought about having someone else read my work out loud to me. That sounds...almost unbearably painful. :-o LOL! Guess it's time to put on my big girl panties and find someone to do this for me. ;-)



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