Writing Wednesdays: The easiest way to look at your book as a reader

January 17, 2018
Whenever you read back over your book, you can easily get bogged down in edits before you even read any of it. I share the simplest solution in this post.

Sometimes you can't just be the writer of your novel. You need to be its audience, too. You need to read your book.

And I'm not talking about looking over it and picking it apart and editing it, or anything like that. I'm talking about actually, really reading it. Which can be a damn near impossible thing to do when you've got the book open in your Word document/similar program, just begging to be edited. 

Editing may not even be your intention at that point, but it'll want to happen. You'll find things to change or things you think need to be fixed. And all of that detracts from actually reading your novel.

(Fair warning - I don't anticipate this post being a long one!)

One instance where you might find yourself looking at your book as a reader is when it comes to editing it. I've talked several times about editing your book and how I find it can be an extremely useful step when dealing with both to reread what you've already got.

Of course, the trouble there is that you can get sucked into reworking what you've already got before you've even had much of a chance to reread.

What's so bad about that? Sure, it's not the end of the world, but you'll have forgotten parts of your novel - reading back over the whole thing will help you get a much clearer view of what to work on when you edit.

Not that I'm going to go into much more detail on the editing process here. If you want to read more about it, you might like this post

Another occasion you might want to read your own novel is when you've been struggling with writers' block. Previously, in posts like this one, I've said that something that's really helpful is to walk away from your book for a while and then read back over what you've already got.

So how do you keep yourself from making changes to your book or working on it, and just read the bloody thing?

Honestly, it's the simplest solution in the world. And no, it doesn't require several black ink cartridges and a printer.

Save the book as a PDF and email it to yourself - to read on a different device. 

If you write on your laptop, don't read back over it on your laptop. Open it up on your phone, maybe. If you're not reading where you write, you'll be less tempted to make the change.

(And plus, if it's on paper you're reading it, you can just grab a pen and start making changes. Same problem.)

Told you this post would be a short one! It's really as straightforward as that.

Happy reading!

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