This week I’ve started reading my work in progress on kindle. It’s not finished. I’m still on an early draft. But there’s a lot to be said for printing out your book, or reading it on a different device to your laptop/computer. Here are some reasons why you should read your work in progress on a kindle or tablet.
It gives you the opportunity to experience the story as the reader
Over the course of writing and editing your work you can become such an ‘insider’ that it’s impossible to tell how your story actually reads. Stepping away from reading it in your word processor, where you are either consciously or subconsciously in edit mode, can give you an outside perspective. It gives you a sense of how the story really comes across, and this is valuable for future edits.
Helps you to spot typos
As much as you should read in non-editing mode, it does help you to spot typos when you’re reading in a different format. I’d be aware of not getting caught up noting all these, at least on a first read through when you should try and enjoy the story for what it is. But it’ll still give you some guidance on how much work needs to be done.
Makes you aware of repeated words
Being an active reader of your work can make you more aware of the words and phrases you repeat. This can make your narrative repetitive and dull, so it’s important to spot these things. Again, I’d avoid editing as you go along but you could always take a note at the end of a reading session of any words/phrases you want to check for when you go back into editing mode.
Ensures dialogue seems natural
Again, when you read your novel as a reader, rather than a writer or editor, you can be more immersed. As such, you’ll get a sense of whether the dialogue seems natural or whether it feels forced. You want your characters to speak in a way that people actually speak, otherwise they won’t seem authentic and it can be jarring to the reader. It’ll also give you an idea on if your narrator has a distinct voice.
Gives you a sense of progress and achievement
There are so many stages that come after writing a book, that it can be hard to truly appreciate your achievement. Putting our work onto an e-reader, and sitting down with it as you might a published work, can give you a sense of pride. It shows what progress you’ve made so far and encourages you to keep going.
Have you ever read your work this way? Is it something you might try? Share your thoughts below.