In The Can

I’ve spent considerable time looking like this, over the past week. Headphones on, listening back to the stories I’m working on.
Reading your stories aloud is a terrific help when editing – you are forced to read what’s actually there on the page, rather than what you think you’ve written. It’s also, in my opinion, one of the most useful pieces of advice I’ve received and given. But recording what you read, and listening to it back, can be just as valuable, from a point of view of flow, rhythm, structure, imagery (probably everything); again you ‘see’ the story in totally different medium. It can be a proper test of whether a story works or not.

Happily, one of them does, or at least will do very soon. The other’s not so compliant, despite excellent help from readers Kat and Sheila. I might be forced to abandon it. To be fair, it was the first thing I wrote after being poorly. Perhaps my mind wasn’t where it should have been. Ho hum. Some you win, some you lose.


And while I’m on, here’s a writing blog I’ve meant to link to for a while – it’s Woman Rule Writer’s and it’s great.

0 Comments on “In The Can

  1.  by  Anonymous

    Hey – did I see you have a story in Serendipity?How cool is that? :)Congratulations – and I hope you’re feeling better.HugSarah

  2.  by  Nik's Blog

    Thank you! Yup my story’s there all right. Hope you enjoy it if you have a read.Just checking – is that Opti Sarah?Thanks for stopping by.Nik

  3.  by  Nik's Blog

    Yay! Thought so; always fab to see you over here.And, of course, thrilled you liked Martha.Hope all’s well with you.N X

  4.  by  Tania Hershman

    It’s such a good idea, reading your work aloud. I went to a wonderful event at the recent International Writers Festival here in Jerusalem and heard Niall Williams and Ahron Appelfeld discover that, despite enormous differences in their writing, their age, their culture, they both sit and mumble through their work, to the amusement of their families and the patrons of the cafe Applefeld works in. It was a beautiful moment!I, however, can’t seem to get into it. And definitely not into taping my own voice and listening to it, which is another fab idea. I know it’s a good idea, why can’t I do it? I can’t seem to make myself write ideas in a notebook either. I am so resistant!PS Sorry, haven’t read your Serendipity story yet…tomorrow is another day 🙂

  5.  by  Nik's Blog

    He he – some great images there. I don’t suppose that that sort of thing can work for everybody. With me it was very much a confidence thing – I had to get over it at the beginning. But now it feels really natural – and it helps me SO MUCH. It’s quite fun now as well.Nik

  6.  by  Lexi

    Nik, what sort of recorder do you use?I want to try this. Somewhere I have an ancient Sony tape recorder if I can find it…but perhaps I should invest in something digital?

  7.  by  Nik's Blog

    I used to use one of these: a standard cassette recorder, which worked absolutely fine.Now I use my laptop. Most (I think) have mics built into them as well as some sort of basic recording programme, which is really all you need. I plug a cheap mic in now as well, for better quality. I certainly wouldn't buy anything digital or fancy, when it'll do the same job as something you either already have or could buy for ten or fifteen pounds.Hope that helps.Nik

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