One of the easiest and most effective revision methods must be to read your words aloud. Should you stumble over the words, if they don’t have a pleasing rhythm, cadence and flow, mark them and go back to them.
Anywhere there is an awkward clunkiness, where the mood of the words is not as you intended, if they don’t touch the heart as you envisioned when you drafted them, go back and look at them with a critical eye rewording the passage.
Develop a more sensitive ear by reading great writing, listening to the words and the music they create in your mind.
My given name is Zoe, derived from the ancient Greek for life. As a girl, fascinated with words, I came across zoetic in an old dictionary. A rare or archaic word with the same derivation as my name, zoetic means living or vital. Also from the same derivation is zoetrope, the Victorian toy you see below.
Words on the page, of themselves, are little more than patterns of ink on paper and can be just as dry to read. Like a zoetrope, my aim as a writer and editor is to give life and vitality to black squiggles. Words ought to sparkle, shine, and move me to laughter or tears before I send them out into the world. There I want them to sing and dance in the mind and imagination of readers.
How could I call my business anything but Zoetic Words?
Well crafted stories draw in the reader. The best stories don’t let go until they are done. As a reader, you most likely remember a story you wanted to dive deep and stay there through the night and into the next day until you finished. Then, the moment you got to “the end”, you wished you had not read so fast.
It always amazes me when the 26 letters of the English alphabet combine to communicate not just data and ideas but complete, compelling stories which move the heart, the emotions, and speak soul to soul.
As writers, we need to read in order to fill up the well of creativity.
Reading good books broadens and expands one’s mind, vocabulary, and horizons. It exposes one to new writing styles, voices, ideas, and viewpoints. It gives one the opportunity to learn about writing by studying how our betters use words, structure sentences, stories, and arguments.
We can learn from pretty much anyone and anything. Learning what not to do almost as important as learning what to do. So, please excuse me while I get back to my book…