For this final edit, my publisher suggested that I read the manuscript aloud. I arrogantly laughed at the request. Then I took a step back and remembered that she is the professional in this instance, I'm the novice.
So whenever I have found time alone (because reading aloud as an adult is pretty embarrassing, when you're not reading to an audience), I have read aloud. To my surprise and delight, it has been a completely different experience!
I have said previously (maybe not on the blog, but I know I've said it...) that writing this book was much like a movie in my mind. There were many nights that I just had to stay up late, even got out of bed, to write down the next scene that was begging to be told. Well, hearing the words aloud simply sharpened the images, sort of like adding surround sound to a DVD.
It has also helped me to find more errors, either in grammar or poor word usage. This has increased my anxiety about sending it off with the approval: "This is ready for publication." I hate it when I come across an error while reading a book. It's one of my pet peeves. And every time I read my own manuscript, I find one! Yikes!
Here's where I hope that the four of you who are reading this one last time for me will have great eyes as well. Between the five of us (six counting my editor), surely we'll find all the mistakes and present an error-free story to the public. Thanks again:)