So I recently read an article by a blogger/writer that advised authors not to read your stories out loud.
The author wrote that stories are meant to be read on paper and that it would not benefit you to hear your story read.
I’m gonna have to disagree with that one.
Having my story read to me, read at me, spoken OUT LOUD has helped me immensely. I have been able to:
Even after having several eyes read over stuff, you will still miss things. But after downloading the software to have the computer voice read my novel to me, I have caught so much. Missed periods, double words, word that should be plural, etc.
2. Check Pacing
Having my story read out loud has helped me to detect dragging passages. When it feels like the computer lady is just going and going but nothing is happening. Yep that’s a pacing issue and I need to tighten it up.
3. See What Works
I detected something the other day where I needed to add a few paragraphs of explanation. Again this is a passage that I have read through several times but just mentally skipped over this part.
Now, I am not a paid endorser of any particular software. I am currently using a free version of Free Natural Reader (FYI on the free version you only get the computer voice, the cooler natural voice is on the paid version). Ashley Farley recently mentioned the voice/dictation option for MAC OS. Check her post here: http://ashleyfarley.net/2013/02/23/how-do-i-edit/. Finally, if you won Nanowrimo or participated in Nanowrimo you can get a discount on Dragon text to speech software (see here: http://shop.nuance.com ). FYI if you won, the coupon code for half-off has expired:(
In the end, on this journey to becoming an author you will learn what works for you and what doesn’t. For me, hearing my novel is very beneficial.