My kids have been asking me to read them my novel, now that it’s finished. Because I wanted to read through it again myself, and didn’t want to figure out how to have two bookmarks in my editor, I put them off by reading them a Warhammer fan-fic novella I wrote around ten years ago or more.
At first I was a bit concerned. My fan-fic was better than I remembered it, and it seemed as though my writing hasn’t improved in ten years. It may even have gotten worse. But as I continued on through the story it became evident that I definitely had some bad habits back then. And while I could tell a decent story, my style needed some polish.
Today we finished the Warhammer novella and moved on to my recent novel. We didn’t make it very far yet, but it’s already clear from reading it that my general flow of words has improved. It’s easier to read out loud, anyway. I suspect the kids will like it less, though, as it’s a much different type of novel. There won’t be much in the way of battles to excite them, at least.
In any case, I’m no longer thinking my writing has gotten worse. I think it may even have improved. That alone is encouraging. I’ve heard from other writers that it’s usually good to read through your novel aloud. I’m increasingly convinced they’re right. You notice things when you read aloud that you wouldn’t otherwise. It’s going to be a good exercise, I think.