Featured #TellHisStory Writer: Megan Willome

June 25, 2013 | 9 comments

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During 2013, dozens of talented writers are joining me to cheer you on in your storytelling. These guest-writers will share a few helpful words with you right here every Tuesday night, to encourage you as you #TellHisStory. (Come back after midnight to link up your God Story by clicking here.)

And now, I’m delighted to introduce you to my dear friend Megan Willome, a magazine managing editor from Texas. 

 

I began to read aloud after I had kids. When they were babies, I read whatever I wanted (“Sense and Sensibility,” anyone?). Through elementary school, I read whatever they wanted. After they could read on their own, they stopped wanting me to read to them. That’s about the time I got a regular writing gig. Soon, my old habit of reading aloud was serving as the perfect editing tool.

Try it. Once your post or your poem or your essay or even your novel is done, read it aloud. Brew a pot of hot tea because your voice will get tired. Not only will you find words you omitted, not only will you find misspelled words that are actual words (“to” instead of “do”), but you will hear how your words sound. You’ll hear them flow — or not. Oops, you wrote the word “suddenly” twice in one paragraph. Or every paragraph starts the exact same way. Or you think, “That section really doesn’t advance the story the way I’d hoped.”

I need to read everything aloud at least twice. If it’s a big piece, I may read it more. And I still don’t catch everything, but I catch a lot.

Megan Willome is managing editor of the WACOAN, a monthly lifestyle magazine, where she is also a contributing writer and columnist. She lives in Fredericksburg, Texas, with her husband, two teens and two dogs. She blogs at meganwillome.com about poetry, tea and other things.

 

YOUR TURN: Go find a favorite story or poem that you’ve written from your archives, read it aloud, pat yourself on the back for a job well done, ( 🙂 ) then come back and drop us a link to some of your favorite words, right here in the comments!

by | June 25, 2013 | 9 comments

9 Comments

  1. Shelly Miller

    Great advice I need to heed more often. I agree, you catch so many things reading aloud that you don’t otherwise. Now, I’ll picture you seated at your desk, holding a cup of tea, reading aloud to yourself. Love you Megan.

    Reply
  2. Summer Gross

    Thank you Megan…great advice. Better yet? I stand at the counter, hands on the computer, phone stuck to my ear and read to my mom and sister…they just have to deal with the annoying pauses as I edit as I go. My question is, when to stop editing…

    Reply
  3. Diana Trautwein

    LOVE this. And I do it, too. Although I haven’t done it as much lately. Time to go back to it, I think. Thanks, Megan. And thanks, Jennifer, for this great small series.

    Reply
  4. lschontos

    This is such excellent advice Megan, and I know it works. It’s so good to see you here. You are a gifted writer!

    Reply
  5. Megan Willome (@meganwillome)

    Thank you all for your kind words, and thank you, Jennifer for asking. I think God had something to do with the timing, although you set this up months ago.

    Reply
  6. David Rupert

    Reading things aloud is a good exercise. It’s also a way to get rid of the passive voice — because very few people actually speak that way.

    Reply

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