Erotica Readers & Writers Association Blog

Sunday, December 11, 2016

ERWA Editing Corner

In praise of reading out loud

By Sam Kruit (ERWA Editor in Chief)

It’s the end of the year, so I’m going to keep this short and light and highlight just some of the issues that programmed spell and grammar checks can never save you from.

If editors aren’t in your budget, and beta readers do things in their own sweet time, read your work out loud. Seriously. It’s the best investment of time you can make towards the end of the polishing process.

You’ll catch over-long sentences. You’ll catch awkward punctuation. You may catch words spelt correctly, but used wrongly. You’re more likely to pick up on formatting issues. And by focussing on each word individually, hopefully you’ll rescue yourself from the kind of goofs that continue to crop up in journalistic writing all the time—ones that even bypass the section editor or editor in chief.

Read, learn, and giggle if so inclined! Have a great festive season.

Lesson 1:  one letter out of place changes everything…

Before Miss Colverson concluded her concert with a rendition of ‘At the end of a perfect day’ she was prevented with a large bouquet of carnations by the Mayoress.

Today’s weather: A depression will mope across Southern England.

Unless the teachers receive a higher salary they may decide to leave their pests.

The Red Cross found a bed for him in an institution specialising in the treatment of artcritics.

Mrs Norris, who won a brace of pheasants, kindly gave her prize bark and this raised £5.50 for the funds [this one’s 30 years old… so about £35, really!]

The bride was very upset when one of the bridesmaids stepped on her brain and tore it.

Lesson 2: keep an eye on the relationship between subject and description!

After consuming about a hundred portions of chips, 28 pounds of sausages, rolls ice cream and cake, the Mayoress presented the trophies to the boys.

A carpet was stolen from Walsingham Hall over the weekend. Measuring six by six feet, the thief has baffled the police.

Parents and teachers are definitely to blame here. You find them playing on both main and by-pass roads, throwing each other’s caps and dashing out after them, and many similar games.

Today’s tip tells you how to keep your hair in good condition. Cut it out and paste it to a piece of cardboard and hang it in your bathroom.

‘We saw over thirty deer come to the forest to feed in the early morning,’ said Mrs Boston, and added that they had thick sweaters and several flasks of hot tea with them.

A quantity of drugs were discovered by a sniffer dog hidden in a cigarette packet.

Lesson 3: Watch the juxtaposition of information…

Smaller body urged.

The celebrated soprano was involved in a serious road accident last month. We are happy to report that she was able to appear this evening in four pieces.

The boy was described as lazy and insolent, and when asked by his mother to go to school he threatened to ‘smash her brains out’. The case has been adjourned for three weeks to give the boy another chance.

Lesson 4: there is such a thing as trying to say too much in too few words…







Firemen in Yorkshire received over 20 letters of thanks today thanking them for their efforts which destroyed five houses yesterday.


  1. I think I'll have to hire a down-on-his-luck veteran character actor to read my stories. The sound of my own voice is unpleasant to me. Or a Hollywood actress, no longer able to work, as she's too old to portray a septuagenarian's love interest. Twenty-seven (gasp!) is such a cruel age. I wish I could read confidently. I listened to an audio book of "The Stranger" by Camus once only to discover how much humor there was in it that I'd missed reading it.

    1. The idea is that you're reading for rhythm etc and you're not obliged to listen to a recording of your own voice. I know very, very few people who'd be comfortable with this exercise for exactly the reason you've given. It's not often that a telephone answering message is nailed down on the first 'take', lol. I love your idea of hiring someone to read your story for you! Now that would be fun to listen to....

  2. I've met that mayoress. If you sit next to her at a dinner party, keep your fingers clenched or risk losing them.

    Reading aloud is great advice, but if you're a shrinking violet like me, a good alternative is to have Microsoft Word read it to you using the SPEAK function. I use it to do all my final proofing.

    Thanks for the LOLZ.

    1. Ah, I take it you're talking about the food-devouring mayoress rather than the one trying to prevent an encore, using a huge bunch of flowers as a weapon :D

      Where is the speak function? Where? Tig want to learn!!

  3. I may not read out loud very well, but I surely laughed out loud throughout your post. One of the funniest typos I ever read was in a newspaper real estate section. The property in question was "close to all pubic facilities."

    Thanks for the informative yet supremely hilarious post.

    Rose (who will see any typos *after* she posts her comments)

    1. thanks Rose! And I love the pubic facilities, lol. "We shall be having no razors, pants or dildoes here...." I'm glad you enjoyed a spot of Sunday silliness!

    2. Great tip! I often read pieces I'm not sure about out loud. But I have to remember to do this when no one else is around to hear me...

      So many delightful examples here, I simply cannot pick a favourite. Thanks ever so much for the giggles!!!

    3. I find that left-over nuclear bunkers are good places to read to oneself. Yes, I'm shy too ;) I'm glad you were tickled by this silly array!

  4. Isn't English grand?

    Unfortunately, I find that even reading aloud, I will misread typographic errors like the bride's train.

    That's why I have a husband... ;^)

  5. all hail the proof-reading husband! Heh.


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