Author Topic: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome  (Read 627 times)

notthatamanda

Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« on: July 23, 2019, 04:04:10 AM »
I'm six chapters in.  So far I've caught it that should have been is, misspelled a character's name, another time had the wrong character.  Several phrases that I reworked to read better.  The book's been through an editor and two beta readers so I am glad I am doing this and making the book as perfect as possible, but sixty plus more chapters to go, it's going to be a long week.
 
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Ronn Munsterman

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Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2019, 04:31:42 AM »
I "discovered" that feature a couple of years ago. Since then, I do all of my edits with it. It truly is helpful on left out words and many other writing problems. My first readers have commented that the copy they read is in much better shape than previous books without it.

Good luck on your book.

Ronn
Ronn

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JRTomlin

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2019, 07:01:42 AM »
I tried it but found that my mind tends to wander. That's possibly just me. I find I have to actually read it out loud myself. It's a bit tiring but the most effective.
 

Wonder

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2019, 07:17:58 AM »
I had no idea this existed! Thanks for the tip.
“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

― W.B. Yeats
 

notthatamanda

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2019, 08:29:49 AM »
You can choose from three voices.  One sounds like Alexa.  It's very robotic.  My next book I'll be listening as I go so I don't have to do 160000 words in one week.
 

OfficialEthanJ

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2019, 11:39:58 PM »
Big ups and much love for turning me on to this feature. Found a few sneaky typos last night during a test drive.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2019, 03:18:54 AM »
I'm making sure to X out of the reader before saving.  I had a file get mega corrupted since I started the long listen.  Word offered to recover it - Text only, no formatting.  Oh dear gawd no.  I had backups.  So even though I can't be sure that's what caused the corruption, I'm going to close out of the reader before I save it at the end of every chapter.

Also, sorry Alexa, your take on the transliteration of Hebrew is pretty funny.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2019, 12:17:49 PM »
Whew I did it.  170000 words.  I'm so glad I did.  Things I caught:

they stood at the food of the bed
vising hours at the hospital

wrong character name
character's name misspelled

These are just a few.  When I say I made one, or two, or more, corrections in each chapter, in the sixty plus chapters, I'm not exaggerating.

I have a really bad habit of putting what I should start a sentence with somewhere in the middle.  I don't even know what to call that.

Overall, even though sometimes is felt like a slog, a long tedious slog, (redundant, but it was) when I was just about to give up I'd hear something that had to be fixed.   Highly recommend.

 
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OfficialEthanJ

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2019, 12:37:00 PM »
Fewer words for me (70K) but... what a godsend! I caught TWO instances of missing quotation marks. Those are such a crap shoot to catch any other way. While it was something of a slog, I'm sold.

Also great for catching clunky verbiage, despite the voice tech being, uhm, quirky.

Ask me whuh I mean by that. Immediate next sentence.
 

Llano

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2019, 12:56:27 PM »
Too jerky and robotic for my taste.

I use NaturalReader and bought some extra voices. Much smoother and pleasant sounding.

Regardless of the voice and software, having your words read aloud by the computer while you watch can definitely pick up a lot of errors that would have been otherwise missed. The better the text-to-speech software the more effective it is in catching errors.

 

notthatamanda

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2019, 08:27:55 PM »
I'm only about 15K words into my next book, so I'm going to try to do that as I go, break it up into mini-slogs.  I have 10 other books I want to get into print over the next year so they'll be a lot of robot voice in my future.  She says "that" strangely, of all things.  I also changed some wrong words, I had used affinity instead of aptitude for some reason.

Natural Reader may be worth a look at some point, thanks for the tip.  Right now I'm in the summer sales doldrums and money is tight.
 

Llano

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2019, 11:13:01 PM »
I think Natural Reader still has a free version. I upgraded years ago so I don't remember what the difference is, definitely limited voices, probably other features such as maintaining a dictionary where you can modify pronunciation. This has come in very handy for me--I have a series with a lot of French and Spanish words and place names, so editing the pronunciation was great.

It takes some getting used to. Fearing file corruption, for a long time I created a text file and used it to run Natural Reader on the second monitor. I finally started using the "floating bar" to use it directly in Word. I back up before I start and after every session. No problems so far. You have to highlight the text you want read, which originally annoyed me, but I've gotten used to. I highlight an entire page, which keeps NaturalReader from running away if I get distracted or need to stop and consider what may or may not be an editor.
 

notthatamanda

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2019, 12:45:44 AM »
I think Natural Reader still has a free version. I upgraded years ago so I don't remember what the difference is, definitely limited voices, probably other features such as maintaining a dictionary where you can modify pronunciation. This has come in very handy for me--I have a series with a lot of French and Spanish words and place names, so editing the pronunciation was great.

It takes some getting used to. Fearing file corruption, for a long time I created a text file and used it to run Natural Reader on the second monitor. I finally started using the "floating bar" to use it directly in Word. I back up before I start and after every session. No problems so far. You have to highlight the text you want read, which originally annoyed me, but I've gotten used to. I highlight an entire page, which keeps NaturalReader from running away if I get distracted or need to stop and consider what may or may not be an editor.
Wow thanks for the details, I'll have to take a look at it. 
 

DCM

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2019, 04:14:56 AM »
First time poster.

I also use Read Aloud in Word.  My post-first draft strategy is:

1.  Grammer/spell check, then read it out loud.  Make changes.
2.  Leave it alone for a few days.
3.  Word Read Aloud the whole thing.  Make changes.
4.  Leave it alone for a few days.
5.  Start searching for my typical writing errors (Missing End quotation mark, lack of contractions in dialog, wrong words, etc)
6.  One more editorial pass looking for anything and everything.
7.  Email it to my author friend (We do this for each other.)  He sends it back with tracked changes in Word.
8.  I attend to his corrections or suggestions, then accept all changes and turn off tracked changes.
9.  By now, I need a break and usually leave it for about a week.
10.  One more pass (ugh) and I am done.
11.  Publish.

My only real problem I have with Text-to-speech is the lack of inflection.  I can't afford extra voices for Natural Reader and the free voice has the same lack of inflection as Word.  I would like to have a voice that makes a question sound like a question, an exclamation have emphasis, all capital words in dialog sound like shouting, on and on.

Is there such a thing that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?

Just found this forum, so I have added it to the other two I frequent.

BTW, concerning typical errors, I'm curious, what are your typical errors that you are prone to make in the first draft?

Thank you,

David
 

elleoco

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2019, 05:21:24 AM »
I tried it but found that my mind tends to wander. That's possibly just me. I find I have to actually read it out loud myself. It's a bit tiring but the most effective.

This is my problem with it too (not necessarily Word, any read-to-you program), and I do the same - read it out loud myself on one of my several proofing passes.

notthatamanda

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2019, 07:03:51 AM »
My most common errors are words that are misspelled into other words. An at it in is as, etc, etc and so forth. Spell check doesn't catch those.

I've gotten used to the robotic voice.  I keep the document open and correct as I go.  When there is no inflection for a questions, I check and make sure I put the question mark in.  I remember at least once I did not. 

Despite my promises to myself, I'm almost done with my latest book and I haven't listened it to it at all yet. But after the 500+ pages I listened to last time this won't be this bad.  I still have all my old works to listen to, and I won't put them into print until I have. So it will be a while until I'm caught up.
 

PJ Post

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2019, 07:25:11 AM »
It's part of my editing process as well. Great tool. Don't know where I was when this was originally posted, but...

 :goodpost:

___

DCM got me thinking, I wonder if we should create a self-editing thread comparing strategies and processes. It would be a huge time saver and quality control tool for new writers, and even some of us who may be - a few years past our sell by date - might pick up a thing or two too. Thoughts?
 
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idontknowyet

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2019, 08:22:39 AM »
It's part of my editing process as well. Great tool. Don't know where I was when this was originally posted, but...

 :goodpost:

___

DCM got me thinking, I wonder if we should create a self-editing thread comparing strategies and processes. It would be a huge time saver and quality control tool for new writers, and even some of us who may be - a few years past our sell by date - might pick up a thing or two too. Thoughts?

I like the idea of a critique/editing thread or sub forum. That said I'm going to hide under a rock, cause you guys are much better at this stuff than I am.
 

DCM

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2019, 12:59:48 PM »
A strategies and processes thread is a good idea, IMO.  Everyone is different and who knows how many good rules of thumb are out there that the rest of us never considered.  I'll wait a bit since I have only been publishing for two years, and see if someone starts such a thread.  If no one does, I don't mind.  I got started late in life as I'm 69 years young.
I'll check back in a few days.

One thing I immediately liked about this forum (my 2nd day here) was the immediate response to my input.  I frequent the Kindle Forums (starting to sour on them) and Indieauthorhaven (like the people there but not much activity.)  This is the best so far.

David
 
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idontknowyet

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2019, 01:35:44 PM »
A strategies and processes thread is a good idea, IMO.  Everyone is different and who knows how many good rules of thumb are out there that the rest of us never considered.  I'll wait a bit since I have only been publishing for two years, and see if someone starts such a thread.  If no one does, I don't mind.  I got started late in life as I'm 69 years young.
I'll check back in a few days.

One thing I immediately liked about this forum (my 2nd day here) was the immediate response to my input.  I frequent the Kindle Forums (starting to sour on them) and Indieauthorhaven (like the people there but not much activity.)  This is the best so far.

David
Welcome to the forum :)
 

DCM

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #20 on: October 23, 2019, 11:23:58 AM »
Thank you for the welcome, idontknowyet. 

Rather than start a new thread, I was wondering for everyone, how old are your author photos that you have posted wherever?

I'll fess up and state that my picture is from 5 years ago.  I don't look that good anymore.  Still have the long hair though.  I've probably done more aging in these past 5 years than I had in my previous 10.

My father used to tell me that "the golden years" referred to the color of urine, not gold.  I thought he was being pessimistic.  Turns out, he wasn't.

DCM
 
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LilyBLily

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #21 on: October 23, 2019, 02:23:41 PM »
My avatar here is a somewhat obscure Pre-Raphaelite painting. Anonymity is a good thing.

I've been looking at my Facebook author page photo, which is really me, and thinking it's a little too formal and also too friendly looking. Like I'm trying too hard. At the slow rate I'm turning gray, though, it could be a few more years before the photo is inaccurate, and it was a professional photo shoot. In the romance writing biz we tend to get them.

I used to post really awful photos of me on my website to discourage people from having fantasies about me. Despite my efforts, I regularly get Facebook friend requests from fake names with stolen photos of retired military men in uniform who claim to be Lieutenant Captains or other impossible ranks. 

Don't worry about your photo.  Grin
 

YouMeWe

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2019, 02:02:55 AM »
:doh: I didn't even know Word had that function. For years, I've been using Balabolka.

Gonna have to play now ...
Pleez scoose n e errers, eyes lerrnin diktashun.
 

Bill Hiatt

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Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2019, 03:58:52 AM »
Welcome, DCM!

My photo isn't me at all--it's the image of my first main character (or rather, the model who appeared in the stock photo on the original cover. Subsequently, I used other images of the same model in advertising.) I've seen some people use images of their pets.

I used the Kindle Forums when I first started, but the machine moderation was idiotic. Sometimes, people flung insults at each other for pages without the auto-moderation kicking in. Other times, I'd have spent a long time writing a helpful post, and it would be sent to moderation for no obvious reason. By the time it got approved and inserted back where it would have appeared if it hadn't gone to moderation, the discussion had already moved on. Sigh! This is a much better place.


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DCM

Re: Read aloud in Word is pretty darn awesome
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2019, 04:03:28 AM »
Thanks, Bill.

Agree with you regarding the Kindle forums.  I lurked there for over a year and posted a few times.  In general, they just don't seem as kind or helpful.  I really like Writer Sanctum and I have participate here more than a full year's worth elsewhere.