Say It Out Loud: How David Sedaris Makes His Writing Better

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Say It Out Loud: How David Sedaris Makes His Writing Better

via Fast Company by Teressa Iezzi on 4/15/13

There’s nothing like reading out loud to road test your writing. Even if you don’t have an audience of hundreds, you can learn from David Sedaris’ verbal method of honing his work.

With social networking tools and access to e-reader data, 21st-century authors have unlimited opportunities for feedback before a book is indelibly inked. But best-selling, award-winning humorist David Sedaris, whose new essay collection Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls will be published by Little, Brown and Company this month, prefers a more low-tech approach. He tests pre-publication material by regularly reading works in progress to live audiences, a practice that has become an integral part of his writing process.

Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

Sedaris got his first taste of reading to an audience in college. He was later discovered by This American Life radio producer Ira Glass while reading his work in a club in Chicago and has since read to sold-out audiences at Carnegie Hall and across the country as well as live on The Late Show with David Letterman. Sedaris believes there are lessons for all writers in performing their work in front of an audience, and shares how he uses readings as an indispensable tool to help fine-tune his prose even before his editors see it.

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