An Author’s Secrets to Words That Sing

An Author’s Secrets to Words That Sing

Image Credit: Drag Queen Singing In A Theater by Jacob Lund Photography from

How you can make your writing sound better with one simple trick

Read on for…

  • An entertaining behind-the-scenes peek at my quirky process for revising my novel during the line edit
  • A nifty trick you can use right now to help you feel more confident in your own writing – like that important email that makes your tummy flop a little when you hit send
  • How I live my rockstar dreams - and you can, too
  • A bonus tip to make your content even more powerful

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Ever wondered how books get written? What happens after that first draft has been put to the page? Of course, every author’s process is different, but for me… it involves conducting my words after I write them. 🤪

Let me back up and give you a bit of a framework: In writing a novel, there’s the drafting stage, then the ever-narrowing focus of the editing stage. Here, I first work through the manuscript at the big-picture, structural, story level; then again at the scene level (more about that in a future story from between the pages). When both of those are exhausted and refined to satisfaction comes the final pass at the page level, also called the line edit.

Since my natural writing style is lyrical and poetic, more flower vines drenched in honey than straight-laced endless flat road, getting things ‘just right’ at the page level is a lot about the melody of my words. Does it flow? Is the rhythm on point? Alliterations, paragraph placings, verb choice, ellipses or dashes or periods or commas – tiny changes with huge ripples.

Now picture the scene: I’m sitting on a beautiful wooden deck in the Florida backyard of my gracious workation hosts, a pond fountain gurgling next to me and tiny lizards scrambling around my feet, the air warm and rich with the scent of blooming jasmine.

My laptop open in front of me, my mouth muttering, my arms extended – I conduct my words. My hands loop, dip and dive, flutter and punctuate, like the conductor of a symphonic orchestra.

Do these words sing? That’s what it comes down to.

I can’t sing very well – if I could, you’d be saying Florence and the Machine who?, because I’d be the one flouncing barefoot across stages living that rock star life and making love with the world through the experience of delicious, intense, soulgasmic shared presence in sound. Since that wasn’t meant to be for me in this lifetime (oh well)… I sing my soul song by weaving words.

Yup, I also dance under the moon and in the surf of remote beaches, and have been known to sing whole-heartedly and awfully-off-tune in the shower or car, but mostly, my writing is my way of singing. I – literally – spell my magic.

Thus, as the last step of revising my debut novel’s manuscript, I discovered I listen to the resonance when I pluck the strings of the words I’ve woven. Do I hear the lilting river in the flow of letter to letter, word to word? Does the emotion sing to my heart, sing it open, crack it open in its highest crescendos like glass surrendering to a crystalline voice raised in an aria?

I sit, and I mutter, reading out loud, and my arms roll and soar with the melody as I find out. 

Even if you don’t fancy yourself a word conductor, reading your words out loud is a super effective trick to catch repetitions, typos, and awkward or unclear phrasing your mind skips over when you read silently. Try it the next time you need to spruce up or proof your own writing!

Tangential bonus tip: What if instead of trying to impress, you focus on what you most care to express? Go for resonance – which begins with sending out a clear, clean, authentic note...

What’s your way of singing your soul’s song, working your magic, and rocking the world, darling?

Let me know so I can cheer for you like an eagle owl. (Tu-whit tu-whoo… You-win you-whoo!)

May you sing your soul’s song and may your heart bloom in love,

Your Word Weaver,

Mera Akiana

P.S.: (Hum... Are you surprised the title of my debut fantasy romance is Bond and Song? 😁)

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