by Tim Kane
I recently needed to read through my entire manuscript one last time, yet I needed to see the text as a reader, not a writing. It seems weird to say, but there is a difference. When I read someone else’s book, I don’t edit as I go. Even my own stories, once published, my mind tends to leave alone. However, when I view my writing in the word processor, I just can’t resist the urge to keep tweaking.
The trick is perspective. For one edit-read I printed out the whole thing, sat on the couch, and poured over it. Trouble is, I don’t have time for that approach. My solution, PDF. I emailed to my iPad, but you could do the same with a Nook or Kindle. The goal is to place the story in a format that I associate with reading (not writing). And it works.
It’s scary how the mind works. In order to make any changes to typos and such, I read the PDF, but still have the laptop handy. That way I can quickly make the change and get back to reading. Midway through this process I thought, “Man, this is a waste of time. I should just read from the computer.” Nope. The instant I started to read from the word processor, my perspective on the text changed. I could feel that switch in my brain flipping. It even happens when I turn my iPad sideways and make the text feel more like my laptop.
No, to get the reading feeling right, it must look and feel like a printed and published story.
Next time you need to view your work as a reader, consider these tricks.