Read to Me, Baby!

Many have you may have realized I’ve disappeared off social media for a bit. If you haven’t, uh. Anyway, so I’ve been editing the first book in my Tower City Romance Trilogy. I’ve been working on this for a while now, and I’m so close to publishing, I can taste it.

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But editing is a bitch, and it seems like no matter how much I do, it will never be enough. It doesn’t help that I’m taking an online editing class, and every time I complete lesson, I find a million more things wrong with my manuscript.

One class was extremely helpful though and we were told to either make Word read our work to us aloud or to read it ourselves. I can’t stand the sound of my own voice, and it’s a fact that you know what it says so your brain may fill in the blanks and you won’t catch what’s wrong, anyway. I didn’t know Word could read to you so I looked up the directions. You can find them here.

Quite simply, I fell in love with it. I can’t stop listening to my own work. I delight in hearing a perfect sentence or laugh when a piece dialogue sounds as good spoken as it did in my head. Of course, it’s not perfect. He doesn’t say some of my characters’ names right, and he skips over ellipses and em dashes. What does he get right? Well, he reads everything just as it’s written: the double words, the typos, the skipped words. I’m not sure a human could even do this level of proofreading. It’s not fail-proof, he doesn’t know I typed except when I meant accept, but that’s the beauty of him speaking it aloud, you can read along and correct as he goes.

The voice sounds more like this than that, but that’s okay.

This makes it tedious–it takes a long time to listen, correct, listen, correct, listen. Sometimes to the same paragraph over and over again. But I see more advantages of this than not. Audio is getting bigger and bigger, and there are a couple avenues indies can take to make audiobooks of their books.

ACX
ACX stands for Amazon Creative Exchange. Through ACX, for a fee, an indie can turn their book into audio and sell it alongside their books on Amazon.

Findaway Voices
Draft2Digital has partnered with Findaway Voices to give indies another choice than to go with Amazon to turn their books into audio. You can read about it here.

How cool is it that you already have an idea of how your book is going to sound if you decide to turn it into audio?  You won’t have to worry how that two-page paragraph, where, oops, you have six comma splices and five semicolons, will sound. You won’t have to worry if it sounds odd every time your characters speak to each other and they say each other’s names a million times.

Not to mention, that since you have already heard everything in your book spoken aloud, you really won’t have to do anything with your proof but make sure the inside and cover turned out.

So, this is what I’ve been doing for the past few days. I have a publishing date set for November, and I’ve been trying to get through this book. It’s slow going because as I said, he’s finding things I want to fix, so I do, then I listen and have to fix it if it doesn’t sound right, or if I made a mistake while I was fixing my mistake. Yeah, that happens. A lot. But I know that after all this is done, my book will sound the best I can make it.

Have you tried this? Tell me what you think!

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5 thoughts on “Read to Me, Baby!

  1. You know I love this technique! I do it on my phone, though. It’s a great way to get some proofreading done while you are on your commute. This weekend I proofed the second half of my book just reading along with the computer. It forces you to slow down, and it absolutely is a great way to find typos. My fingers randomly substitute though/thought/through and her/here and the/they. I never see those, but I always hear them. Siri is just like you describe word, in that it just ignores … and — which makes reading along important because you don’t know if the funky way she said that sentence was a mistake or just her ignoring the punctuation. My instructions for doing it on an iPhone: https://alfageeek.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/read-me-a-story-siri/

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t but I’m gonna! How cool! Thank’s for sharing this. I have to buy word because my computer didn’t come with it. *agony!* Waiting for hubby to get home so he can buy and install it on my computer. I don’t want to lay more crap on him, nor do I want to screw things up by buying something I’m not familiar with, myself. Ha! Can’t wait.

    And I’ve noticed and missed you!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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