So I’ve heard off and on for several years now that when you’re editing, it really helps to read your work aloud. For some reason, I am incredibly shy about hearing my own voice reading my own work. I have no explanation for this, as I am a performer and love being on stage, but within the confines of my own room, I simply can’t do it. So, I never did.
Then, I heard about getting your computer to read it to you. Odd concept, I thought. Well, yesterday I tried it. I downloaded a free program that gets this crazy lady called Microsoft Anna to read to me. (There’s probably a way to do this that’s already on my computer, but I couldn’t figure it out.)
She reads like, well, a computer. It’s not pretty. There’s no inflection. Actually, worse, there’s completely inappropriate inflection. However, by listening with my eyes closed and not following on the screen, I found four separate places where my brain had simply either added a word it knew should be there, or ignored the extra word that shouldn’t have been.
They were little words: the, to, her, but even though I’d read through the work numerous times, I never caught them.
I am totally sold. I can’t recommend either reading aloud yourself or getting your computer to do it for you enough. I had no idea how much I was missing.