To develop reading techniques

Since I am an author writing books, I find it very useful to develop reading techniques, so that I become accustomed to reading something a hundred times, as if I have never read it before.  Hard, some might say pointless, impossible…. But I find it essential.  How else to spot the grammar error, the missed comma, the spell-check error that slipped under the automated net?  Each time we read, we have to pretend that the material we have written is virgin, unseen, new to the world.


Which lends my writing technique a certain capriciousness.  I can be writing Stage One stuff at the active end of my book, wondering about how to tie up the latest loose ends, and then, chance to spot some part of of the late middle section that my mouse happens upon, thinking, Eeek! I hardly recognise this.  What’s going on here?

Or I might notice a couple of ends that I left dangling last time, ideas that I jotted down, needed to mention, because I need to remember them and knew I would come back and find them: the modern invention of the word-processing function does make this kind of back and forth easier, and allows us to collect up ideas, so I like to take advantage of that.

I like jumping back and forth, occasionally.  I need that, to leaven the loaf of a daily writing commitment, to add spice to the morning, and to make my dancing around on the keys feel useful.  (‘Hmmmm, maybe I didn’t achieve much today, but…hang on, I must have, because I found that spelling mistake, I corrected a timeline error, I went and checked that all my dates tied up – and they did!’)

If I have an idea to check something, it’s probably a good idea to do that, whatever other plans I may have made.  If I am prompted to use my ‘find’ function to locate the number of times my characters have said, ‘Well, I’m not sure about that…..well, well, well….’ there is probably a good reason.

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