Friday, March 18, 2011

Reading Aloud

I came across a cool tool recently that I wanted to share.  It's called Natural Reader.  The next time you want to hear your words read aloud by someone else's voice other than your own, try it.  It comes in handy.  Sometimes hearing your words aloud helps you to understand where a bit of dialogue or narrative in your writing is going right (or wrong). 

I read parts of my own drafts aloud all the time, especially dialogue. It always helps to hear it spoken.  Read aloud, you can tell if a passage is flowing naturally or whether your dialogue feels real or stilted, for example.  It's much more effective than simply reading your words over and over.  Merely looking at your words and hearing your words can be completely different.

Next time you're stuck, try it.  Plus it's fun and who doesn't need a little fun every now and again?

15 comments:

Colette said...

Great idea! I'm going to try that tool.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Very cool. Thanks.

Angelina Rain said...

I do that sometimes. I convert my writing into an LIT file and let Microsoft reader read it out loud to me. You can really find problem areas that way. And with me being the queen of typos (and I can’t seem to catch them all) it comes in very handy.

M Pax said...

That does sound cool. I'm going to have to check it out.

Shirley Wells said...

My Mac has built-in text to speech software and I often use that. I feel too self-conscious reading my work aloud - yup, even when I'm alone - but I'm a great believer in hearing the words spoken.

I must admit I get lots of laughs with some words. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll have to try that.

JEFritz said...

Interesting idea. I find a lot when I read aloud in my normal voice...I can only imagine what I'll find if I try it in someone else's!

Liz Fichera said...

So different hearing it aloud than reading it to yourself. Definitely worth a try, if you haven't tried it! And the tool is free. My fave word. :-)

Jeigh said...

Wow, that's so cool! Thanks for the info.

Trisha said...

Wow, that is so cool! And I'm a little scared of how my story will sound. lol

jenniferelliott14 said...

I love your creed! I think it's brilliant. And I just returned from your great city of Chicago with my husband. We had a fabulous time visiting the Field Museum, the Art Institute, the Science Museum, and the Shedd Aquarium ... next time, I want to go shopping! :)

Ellie said...

Cool link. Thank you!

Nas Dean said...

Hi Liz,

I already downloaded the application after coming across your blog at eHarlequin forum. Have yet to try it.

Thanks for sharing.

Rosalind Adam said...

That was fun. Thanks for the link. I often read my WIP aloud to the animals. They're such forgiving critics.

Ron Starc said...

The current best text to speech software is Text Speaker. It has customizable pronunciation, reads anything on your screen, and it even has talking reminders. The bundled voices are well priced and sound very human. Voices are available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and more. Easily converts blogs, email, e-books, and more to MP3 or for listening instantly.