Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Read it to me...

As if I didn't have enough to do...  My BF was telling me just last week that she was going to purchase a voice-to-text program (very affordable) to allow her to dictate her book.  (We're supposed to be co-authors, but she needs a fire lit under...  oh well, that's another subject.)  It sounded like a good idea... for her - not me.  I like writing my ms.  I type almost as fast as I think.  I don't know that I could focus as well by dictation.

I never gave a minutes thought to the flip side of this possibility...  At least, not until I read a blog just now on QueryTracker.  Even though I keep vowing to stop editing and get finished with the writing, I have read portions of my ms aloud as an editing tool.  It is effective to a point.  We do tend to read it the way we meant it, and not necessarily the way it truly reads.  So what if a computer read it to you?

Check out today's post:  Was Blind But Now I See-- Text-to-Voice: An Underappreciated Editing Tool

8 comments:

Susan R. Mills said...

This is a timely post. Just last night, I was helping my daughter edit a short story she had to write for English. I read it aloud, and she'd stop me every so often and say, "That's not what it's supposed to sound like." And I'd say, "But that's what it does sound like." Then she would read the same passage outloud to me, and it would sound exactly how she intended it to.

It got me thinking about this very subject. When we read our own work, we tend to read it how we intended it sound. I'm checking into this voice to text thing.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Lily -

I recently went to a writers' conference. One of the teachers recommended that writers, who are primarily speakers, dictate their books into a digital voice recorder in front of an audience - even if it's only one person.

When I start my non-fiction books, I will try this technique. For fiction, I use the recorder as a notebook when I'm on a trip. It's great for remembering details that would otherwise pass through your brain and exit in two seconds.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Lesley said...

Reading your ms aloud is a great idea! The voice-to-text programs can be tricky. My hubby tried one for his job one time with pretty funny results. I'll have to post about it some time!

Jan Mader said...

I just write. Then I have someone else read what I have completed for the exact reason you said...we tend to read what we mean to say and not what we actually write sometimes!

TC said...

People who encouraged me to write told me I wrote just like I talked, they could hear me when they read my emails?
I don't know if that is good or not, I've taken to going back and proof reading more, no I wasn't proof reading my blogs, I will have to try reading aloud and see if that is truly how I meant to sound.

Terri Tiffany said...

I always read my work out loud. I can catch so many errors that way but usually do it after it is all written. I can't imagine dictating my book and then having to go back and write it!

Stephanie Faris said...

I worked with a man who was SUCH a great storyteller. He'd always wanted to put his life into book form. So I encouraged him to write a chapter or two and show it to me. OMG his writing was atrocious. To this day, when he talks about writing, I insist he needs to dictate into a tape recorder or use a voice recognition program for his computer. He just retired, though, and is now into painting. I think some people just do better verbally. I'm a writer, but yes, reading my own writing aloud would point out some flaws to me.

ElanaJ said...

I just finished reading my MS. Well, okay, my computer read it to me. And I found typos I would never have found otherwise. Even when I read it aloud myself. It's an invaluable tool. I hope it works for you!