Saturday, October 6, 2012

My inner child has the giggles

I've learned that reading a aloud is a great way to double check my writing. Things that seemed perfectly fine to my eyes will reveal a multitude of editorial sins when I take the time to speak each word aloud. It makes for grand few hours of revelations over missing words, repeated phrases, and the occasional "what the hell did I mean when I wrote that?" moment.

It's also a lot of talking, which meant I would either wind up with a scratchy throat from several hours of non-stop auditory review, or I'd get lazy and drift into normal reading without noticing I'd stopped talking aloud. Often the result is a combination of both of the above. Because of this, I decided to try and track down a text-to-speech program.  Being cheap, I refuse to spend $50 dollars or more to have my computer read to me, so my options were somewhat limited. I am currently using a simple little program called Wordtalk, which speaks in a voice that makes Apple's Siri look like a Shakespearean performer by comparison. Microsoft Mary is her official name, but I've renamed her Bloody Mary, because of the number of pronunciations she butchers per paragraph. Still, it beats reading to myself and/or my cat.

I've just finished reviewing chapter four of this WIP, and things are moving along nicely.  I'm finding even more errors than if I were reading aloud, and it's making the editing/polishing process more effective and faster. It's also caused me to dissolve into several fits of giggles. There is something deeply, terribly wrong about hearing my computer reading through the sex scenes, and I have yet to make it through a paragraph without snickering like a grade school kid whispering about pee-pees and boogers. The fact that I wrote every word seems to have no impact on the humor of having my computer mis-pronounce "pussy" or blaze through a breathtaking climax with neither pause nor the slightest hint of inflection.

Apparently I am still a kid at heart, and I suspect the rest of the day is going to be spent sniggering to myself as I put the final touches on this manuscript. I may feed my inner child a lollypop when I'm done, she's made this task a great deal more fun than usual.