You spend hours/days/weeks editing and you’re struggling to get through it. Here is just one of the many tricks one could when editing.
Use an app to read your story to you
Many will happily agree that hearing a passage will trigger different editing skills than reading a passage. When we read a passage, our brains often fill in the missing words or correct the awkward sentence so it reads as we think it should, but it’s not what it says. As mentioned in a previous post, reading a passage aloud allows you to register unnatural dialogue, awkward phrases and many other things that could have been missed.
Let’s face reality: not everyone is comfortable with reading things aloud to themselves, but there is a solution. There are apps out there that will read a story to you.
If you are on a Mac system, the app for this is already built-in. Programs like Scrivener have incorporated the Mac text-to-speech features into its operations. Some of the voices are extremely unemotional and computerized, but a few of them aren’t. It might take some trial-and-error to find the voice that works for you, but at least the option is there.
Windows now have these systems built-in too, however, they don’t seem to be as developed as the Mac versions. Saying that, there’s nothing stopping you from downloading an app or using an on-line one.
You could convert your manuscript to a format suitable for an eBook reader and use the text-to-speech functions on that. My Kindle provides me with a male and female voice options. (Both of them make me laugh when they attempt to read some of the unconventional character names.)
There are also text-to-speech apps available for Andoid and iOS.
If you can force yourself past the laughing fit that will likely ensue when that computerized Stephen Hawking voice starts reading your erotic sex scene, this could provide another way to pick up those editing blunders that you might have missed otherwise.
(Now I think I’ll go hunt out those hot and steamy scenes to throw through a text-to-speech program. I could use a good laugh.)
See other Tips and Tricks from the Editor.
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© Copyright, Judy L Mohr 2017