Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Why I Listen to my Novel - Out Loud

Okay, so I was reading through my manuscript after running the spell checker. I wear headphones and listen to the computer read in that horrible robot-jerky voice as I follow along. This is why I do this, even though it takes a lot of time. And I want to cut off my ears like Van Gogh did. Those computer voices just aren't conducive for listening to 85,000 words. Seriously.

"A five-year-old Tyson and a three-year-old me played in the water, dipping our feet and slashing each other."

LOL! That should be "...sPlashing each other."

"Thy blood stained the cobbled stones."

Um, that should be "ThE blood..." Not only did it slip into first person, but all of a sudden I was speaking in this formal voice. "Thy mother has spokeneth. Go cleaneth your roometh." gelakguling

"As the feeling came back into my legs and feet, I torched a long coat hanging in the corner of the closet."

Man, this girl has some serious anger issues. Hee, hee. That should be "...I toUched a long coat..."

So you see, the spell checker can't find everything. And that robotic voice is good for something. Maybe.


Jenn said...

Wow, your little emoticon is sure getting a kick out of that "cleaneth thy roometh joke, isn't he?

It does sound like listening to the novel has its merits. And it's even better than if another person read it out loud to you, because they might not even notice that it said "torched" - they may just read it as "touched" and moved on.

However, if you do get the irresistible urge to cut off an ear, put the headphones down and walk away. I don't care what VanGogh thinks - your art just isn't worth that kind of angst!

Sarah Jensen said...

I agree with Jenn.
And yeah, I need to do that. Where do go to get your computer to read to you?

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

My screenwriting software has where you can give all your characters different robotic voices... which all end up sounding the same.

I don't think I would have the patience to sit through that, but those are some good (and unintentionally hilarious) catches!

Anonymous said...

The novelwriting software I use reads the MS outload - I love it....I catch SO MUCH more that way!!!

CW said...

Hey there, I am also a writer, well a struggling one. Started a few projects then set them aside and start a new one never seem to be able to finish. I love writing which is what led to my blog. It was a way to show some of my work while speaking my mind. I have strong opinoins, however feel everyone is entitled to their own. Please check it out and voice your opinion.


ali said...

That's so cool! I wonder if I can make a lowly ol' PC talk to me?

And I was ROFL there Elana. Maybe you should leave it the way it was?

Francesca said...

I'm with you completely about reading things aloud and how it catches things I've missed and also points up whole sections that need reworking. I'm not sure I could take the computer reading it to me, but it might beat having to read it out loud myself.

In fact, this is why I like listening to audiobooks even of books I have already read. Something fresh springs forward when listening to a book that isn't as evident when reading it. Ah for the days of being read aloud TO!

lizB said...

Very sound advice. I have my husband read aloud when I get to the final draft. It's beneficial to the work, and I get to hear his voice for a long, long time.


ElanaJ said...

Sarah, on a Mac, you go to SYSTEM PREFERENCES and then SPEECH. You can set the voice and which keyboard shortcut you want to use to make it talk to you. On a PC...um...uh...I'd look in your control panel (isn't that what it's called in Windows?).

Sarah Jensen said...

I don't think my PC does that. Oh well.

~Jamie said...

That is one of the best ideas ever! It's fabulous! I bet my book is FULL of stuff like that! I will listen to my novel to-night!

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