Give Your Writing a Sound Check

Testing 1, 2, 3, 4, testing! How many times have you heard a sound check? It might be a little annoying but it’s vital to set the appropriate sound level to ensure everyone in the room hears the message, or the music—at the optimal volume.

So, when was the last time you gave your writing a sound check?

Do you read your final draft aloud to hear how it “sounds?” Does your dialogue have the right tone, cadence or dialect? Does is sound realistic for each character? Does your narration have the proper pace? Have you varied sentence length to alter the pace so it builds to a crescendo?

How about your description? Does your setting sound accurate? If you have never been there, your reader may have, so make sure it sounds accurate to him. Ask yourself, does it paint the appropriate picture in the reader’s mind?

What about your plot premise? Does is sound plausible? Probable? Or unlikely? Could it happen this way? Make sure someone you trust reads your final draft. How does it sound to them? Trust their opinion, not yours. While you know what you intended to say, they know if you said it.

Always give your writing a sound check to make sure the reader hears what you’re trying to say—at the optimum level.

Remember, don’t just write to be read; write to be heard.


The Writer’s Refuge blog is a place for writers, like you, to break away from your daily routine and for just a few minutes find insight, inspiration or simply a word of encouragement.

Blog entries are posted on Thursday.

You may contact Jim Magruder at:

Published in: on September 19, 2012 at 7:05 pm  Comments (1)  

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