Tuesday, May 22, 2012

When Editing Is Not Enough


Laura has received her manuscript from an editor, after spending about $0.016/word for a 10,000 + manuscript.  She feels confident; a proclaimed specialist in editing has gone over her manuscript with a fine toothcomb. Laura accepts and rejects suggestions in the manuscript and VOILA, the book is ready for the printing stage.  The book is available for purchase and the reviews start to come in.  Her eyes eagerly read a review for the book on amazon.com, “It’s a good read, but it has too many errors.” Comments like this can knock the wind out of a writers sail. A writer has to have tough skin to survive in a world where everything written is critiqued.

          Still, authors are sensitive and their stories are like a beloved child.  I think many writers can relate to Laura’s experience.  I found that doing a visual edit was not enough. So, I tried using  the Natural Reader 10.0 software and it has become a crucial part of the editing process.  

          Arguably, the more mistakes a manuscript has the easier it is for the editor to overlook mistakes.  Natural Reader is a synchronized text to speech software that reads and highlights the words spoken.  When actively listening, you can hear when a word is missing, discover plot holes, and find out of sequence scenes.  The software is easy to use, and reads MS Word, PDF and emails. The only down side is getting use to listening to a mechanical voice, but the benefits are priceless. Disclaimer: This software does not take the place of an editor.  Once, you have gone over the text without hearing any errors, send it to an editor.  

          Now, it is up to you to test the software and experience the benefits.  I have included a link to a free Natural Reader 10.0 download. An upgraded version is available with realistic voices. http://www.naturalreaders.com/download.htm

4 comments:

  1. This is very good advice...but I also recommend reading everything you write aloud at some point. When it comes out of your own mouth, you suddenly hear how some things flow and others sound stilted. This is especially important for dialogue, but I recommend it for everything.

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    1. Thank you. Your ABSOLUTELY right, reading aloud is important.

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  2. 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.

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    1. Thank you for sharing the software information Ron. I've been looking for an alternative for a while. Sharing is caring. :)

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