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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Editing your story with text to speech

Hi

I'm doing another edit of a mystery/thriller I wrote years ago. A dear friend of mine, Victoria, has read and made comments on the entire manuscript. Thank you Victoria for being soo nice for not telling me to bury the mss in the garden.

The story is full of adjectives and bad punctuation...but I still believe it's a good story.

I guess when you first start off writing you try so hard to explain everything and describe everything. Why stop at one adjective when two or three will be better, or so you think. I know that we are told to choose one, but what if you can't decide? Well, that comes with time and practice. How many years it takes you, is up to you. Also, you are so close to the story you can't see the flaws.

How do I explain away the bad punctuation...I was never that good at English at school. I was dyslexic and was never diagnosed as in those days no one knew about this problem. Maybe this is a cop out but it's my excuse and I'm sticking with it. I wasn't writing full time for many years. Now I try to sit down and write for about four hours a day. It does make a difference.

There are some free programs on the net which will read your text back to you. They are mechanical voices and may irritate some people but it is helpful as it will pick up the 'and' or 'the' that you failed to see because you mentally insert it every time you read your work. I know that I do.
Here are a few:
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-tools/Other-Office-Tools/Speakonia.shtml
(You need to copy and past the text into the dialogue box)
There is a free plug in from Microsoft so you can enable text to speech in MS Word. When you load Word it doesn't automatically install the text to speech part. You will have to go to Add remove programs and install it that way. Here is the link:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-au/word-help/using-the-speak-text-to-speech-feature-HA102066711.aspx
http://www.ivona.com/us/ - this one is used online.

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