Five Reasons to Read Your Work Aloud

Script writers will often get a bunch of actor friends around to read a script – I’ve done it myself – and it is specifically to make sure that the dialogue sounds real. You get the bonus of the actor’s input, their ideas and suggestions, but really it’s to stop things sounding bad.

I’m not convinced. They’re your friends and they’re actors, they are going to do the damnedest to make your words sound good.

But then I am a dialogue man, it is the thing I do. It’s everything else I’m rubbish at.

Nonetheless, I have now been persuaded that there is a benefit to hearing your words aloud – but it’s your prose words, and it’s you speaking them all:

Reading stuff aloud forces each and every word to earn its keep. This is why you must read it yourself, rather than getting some voice-software programme to do the honours. The very act of rallying all those small muscles and making sounds rise up out of your voice-box changes your perspective. You’re forced to say every single word. Suddenly, you’re not so inclined to hand free passes to superfluous, inappropriate or just plain stupid words, sentences, paragraphs or even whole sections.

Five Reasons to Read Your Work Aloud – Jason Arnopp, INT. JASON ARNOPP’S MIND – DAY/NIGHT (14 June 2014)

The other four reasons are smart too.

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