Friday, January 13, 2006

My-Novel-is-on-a-Diet Blues

Hey, friends, sorry I've been posting so infrequently. I've been UNPLUGGING my network cable and moving the computer to another room, to facilitate Project A: making my big novel less so.

Part of the novel workout is focused on "problem areas." Tons of cellulite in the first few chapters, so I'm going through the same damn text over and over, looking for more to jettison. A fellow student in my writer's class is revising a novel too, and he mentioned that he is using text-to-voice software to hear it outloud. I went WOW! I have been reading it outloud, but if you know how I read, you know that is no help. If the text is bad, I do a pretty good job of covering that up. Not to be full of myself, but my voice makes the little darlings priceless and hard to kill. I can't help it. But a computer voice? I'll try it!

So last night I did. I used free ReadPlease software I downloaded from the net. You can select from several Stepford-wife "readers," both male and female (they even have pictures!), slow it down, pause it, etc. All you gotta do is paste your text into the little window. Here it is reading the imperfect page one of my novel:

It sounds like a distraction, but it actually helped me cut 300 words toward my 10,000 word cut goal last night. The real distraction? Um, blogging...

So, I'm gonna unplug again now, because this capturing-the-screen-shot thing took way too much time.



Blogger Clifford Garstang said...

Wow. First, I desperately need to unplug so I totally respect that (my novel needs some serious concentration and isn't getting it). And Second, the reading thing sounds outstanding. I can't wait to try it!

9:30 AM  
Blogger GeeNetZie said...

I am curious, do you know if it will upload to an ipod?

5:26 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

hey, guys, I'm still having fun with this thing. And getting a lot done. I don't know about the ipod thing, I suppose you could capture the audio into an MP3 file if you tried...

If you think about it, the possibilities for this technology are endless.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Clifford Garstang said...

Downloading is a pain and I ended up getting a disk with the program; I had it read to me this afternoon--what I riot! I kind of wish it used MY voice, but still I do think it's worthwhile.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Cliff, so you're using it! Great! I'm still using it daily. I've gotten down to 104K words...that much closer to the 100K goal. What I love is it brings out my tics or too-frequently words as well. The flaws just come to the surface, and I'm telling you, i've read this damn manuscript so many times I thought I had it memorized. But hearing it in someone else's voice does the trick. I'm also learning more about the characters, which will help me to write meta-copy for selling purposes.

4:17 PM  
Blogger GeeNetZie said...

So I used it last night to check my paper and found a bunch of gramatical errors that my read, re-read didn't catch. Very cool stuff!

2:03 PM  

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