In revising my middle grade science fiction novel, Hana Hsu and the Ghost Crab Nation (Razorbill June 2022), someone on Clubhouse gave me the best revision tip:
Have your computer read back your words to you.
I've found this really helpful because it lets you: (1) identify typos that are easy to hear and hard to see, (2) hear the flow and cadence of sentences, and (3) experience the book in a different sensory format. It's almost like hearing an audiobook.
How do you do this?
I have a Mac laptop, but I assume this also works in Windows.
1. In Word, insert your cursor where you'd like it to start reading, go to "Review," then click "Read Aloud."
A pop-up window will appear that lets you adjust the reading speed and the voice (male or female):
2. In Scrivener, go to "Edit" --> "Speech" --> "Start Speaking"
To change the default voice and speed, go to your computer's System Preferences --> "Accessibility," --> "Speech":
3. On your phone, I've used the app Natural Reader to have my phone read a file, but it doesn't let me immediately revise or correct the manuscript.
Have you ever done this? What other good revision tips do you have?
Book News: Manatee's Best Friend
In one month, on August 3, my middle grade novel, Manatee's Best Friend, will come out from Scholastic! I'm excited to share my story of a shy girl who finds her voice to save manatees.
If you pre-order the book from my local indie bookstore, Prince Books, you'll get an autographed copy plus an adorable bookmark.
Giveaway: Query Critique + 10-page giveaway
To celebrate my upcoming book, I'm giving away a query critique + a critique of the first ten pages of your novel (MG, YA, or adult), or full picture book manuscript critique (under 1000 words).
1. You must subscribe to my newsletter (click the button below if you came to this post from an outside link)
2. Reply to this email (or the welcome email once you subscribe) and let me know a good revision tip that has helped you.
Giveaway closes at the end of the day, July 16.