HECTOR, New York - Yes, yes, yes. You have heard it before. If you want to catch every niggling error in your writing, read it aloud.
Some people say read it aloud backwards. (I've tried that to catch spelling errors. It's a great way to drive yourself mad in about 10 minutes.)
But in the last two weeks I read my already-published novel (The Fracking War) aloud into a microphone at a recording studio to create an audiobook. This novel (in manuscript form) I had proofed myself at least four times and had several other people proof it, too. And as the book worked its way through the publishing process, it was proofed again.
Well, you already guessed the punchline to this story. I found about a dozen errors (most minor, one not-so-minor) in the reading aloud of the 400 pages for the audiobook.
But added to that, reading it aloud pointed out some awkward language that seemed sooooo reasonable when written (or proofed), not so good when read aloud.
The moral of the story for me is that before Fracking Justice goes to print, I will be reading it aloud into a microphone for an audiobook. And even though it has been through eight sets of reader eyes, I'll wager I find another dozen minor boo-boos.
At least I hope I find them if they are in there.