One of the last rounds of editing: Reading it out loud. It’s horrifically embarrassing if you do it too early on in the writing process, but as I’m just about done, it didn’t turn out too bad. Just a few more tweaks left and off it goes!
Reading while you’re writing is a bit of an interesting subject. Reading is a good habit for a writer to have, but on the other hand there are some problems that arise when you write while you’re reading. You could draw too much influence or outright copy something by complete accident.
I, however, don’t like to let something like writing stop me from reading. If I did that, I might never actually get any reading done because I’m always working on some narrative project in some form or another. Instead, I’ve found a balance in two forms.
First, I don’t read anything similar to what I’m writing within a month of working on it. If I read something in a different genre with a different tone, generally I don’t have to worry about the influence bleeding over much.
The second is, believe it or not, graphic novels. I’m a huge comic book fan and graphic novels are this great alternative in another medium that I find doesn’t really influence my prose as much as it probably could. Granted, I don’t read much in the way of super heroes and do read things that are actually a little closer to the stuff I write, but I do try to avoid similar narratives in comics as well.
So what about you? Can you read when you’re writing?