The Ear vs The Eye

There is something the ear can discern that the eye cannot. It is rarely mentioned, but it is there like a speck of dust in the corner of your eye…yes, there it is…it is an edge, in fact it is THE edge the ear has over the eye. It is rhythm.

One of the best techniques to aid anyone to write is to read your work aloud. Even better to let someone else read it for you. When the sound of the text that you have written expands and explodes and rumbles in your eardrums and you hear the voices of the characters you created, at that big bang moment they become separate from you, independent, alive. And you hear the gaps, the sighs of the sirens and the groans of the slaves, the waves lashing the rocks, the crunch of a boot on gravel, the weeping of the widow and the laughter of the child. You hear it all. And you know from rhythm alone that is just does not sound right.

Or it does.

The ear is a magical thing. Use it. Perhaps you need to take time out and away from your friends and family so that they do not think that in your solitude you finally succumbed to madness, the kind that comes from looking at the sheer whiteness of the blank page. It is not madness to listen to your words lifted from the page and given life through sound. It is essential.

The eye jerks from side to side and sometimes skips letters and makes up others. It is easily misled. Illusion rules the land where the one eyed man is king. So release those sounds and make your characters real, slip away into the land of sound where even silence carries significance and find your own voice, your own rhythm.

ZHZ

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