Listening to Your WIP – #WritingTip #amwriting

Using MS Word to read your writing aloud – great way to catch mistakes and clunky sentences. Marcia shares clear instructions on how to turn on this nifty little tool.

The Write Stuff

We’ve talked about this in the past, but as I avail myself of the process more and more, I now wonder how I wrote anything without stopping to hear my words now and then. At the very least, how did I dare submit my revised document to an editor, never having done so? And yet it’s SO easy.

Like many of you, I have a regular writing routine, even though it got a bit lost in the post-hurricane shuffle. I’m getting back to it again. I write every morning, immediately after taking care of any emails that won’t wait. I always plan to write at least two or three hours, but more often end up writing for longer periods of time. (Thank you, Fitbit, for reminding me to get up every hour and walk for a few minutes.)

The first thing I do when I sit down to write is…

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14 comments

  1. Thank you for passing this along, Debby! I really appreciate it, and I hope some of your followers will give it a try. I don’t know how I lived without it! 😀

    1. Thanks for taking the screenshots – always the simplest way to show things. 😀

    2. Someone once said a picture is worth a thousand words. 😀 They were right! 😀

  2. I have used this read-aloud feature but have yet to discover a realistic-enough voice. Still, it helped!

    1. Hi, Jacqui! Where proofing for missed words and other errors are concerned, I don’t mind the voice being robotic. I’m not looking for true narration. Just to be able to catch errors and clumsy wording my eyes don’t see. And it does that, in spades. 🙂

  3. Brilliant! I write in StoryBox, but I edit in Word. Just tried out the ‘Speak’ function on one of my stories and it’s a lot of fun. It’s also surprisingly good. Thanks so much for this. 🙂

    1. So glad you liked this easy to use function of Word. Honestly, I can listen to a scene or chapter with it, and find all sorts of things I didn’t notice by just reading. It’s amazing how helpful it can be. Hope you continue to find it useful. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Marcia. I think it’s going to become a permanent part of my editing method.

    2. Yes, I find it surprisingly good, and the voice not as ‘robotic’ as I expected. Someone else’s post a while ago introduced me to it, I should have thought of sharing that one then, I’ve found it so useful.

      1. I know what you mean about the voice. It isn’t half bad for this type of thing, and usually gets the inflection right on questions, etc. Of course, some of the mispronunciations are a hoot, but they aren’t too frequent or distracting. It still astounds me how I can proof a chapter several times, think it’s pretty solid, and then LISTEN to it, only to find missed words and other errors my ear picks up so much better than my eyes. It’s a must-have tool for me.

      2. Yes, I can go along with that. I tend to use it when I think a paragraph or sentence sounds clunky, and listening to it read by someone (thing) else usually confirms my suspicion.

      3. I was surprised too. It’s on my quick access toolbar now. 🙂

      4. Mine too 😀

      5. lol – great minds. 🙂

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