Talk to Me

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I like reading my writing out loud. Um, let me clarify. I hate reading in public and I don’t like the sound of my voice. However, I find that reading a scene out loud helps identify problem areas and shows where the writing shines.

When I’m alone, I read without a problem. No stumbling or stuttering. I read and reread a phrase or sentence, changing it as I go, until it sounds right and I don’t care…until I realize that someone (usually my husband) can actually hear me. Then I start to whisper. It works, but is less effective.

That’s why text-to-speech is awesome. I put on headphones, highlight the scene and let the computer do the talking. Granted, the voices are jerky, can put the wrong em-phasis on the wrong syl-able or pause…inappropriately. But it works and I’m not reduced to a mumbling nut hiding in the corner.

That’s why I’m so excited that Mac’s latest operating system has released new, more natural text-to-speech voices! Awesome voices. Accented voices. Not me voices! Listen to some sample here.

There are Irish and Scottish English accents as well, but I couldn’t find a sample to share. Perhaps there’s an accent to match your setting…or to match your mood. I think Serena will have the honor of reading Julia after my next round of changes.

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4 thoughts on “Talk to Me

  1. bethfinke

    I’m in a unique situation where the *only* thing I use is text-to-speech. I’ve convinced myself that using this technique makes me a better, or at least, a more memorable, writer.

    • I wouldn’t recommend listening to an entire novel with one (I’ve tried and it’s a bit numbing – I think I even spoke in choppy sentences for a little while afterward), but give it a shot for smaller scenes.

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