Found a New Writing Toy
I found a new writing toy, the voice. I've added a link below. Go about halfway down the website for step-by-step instructions for a PC. I have Microsoft Word 2010, but it works on earlier versions.
I love using this toy when I'm editing. It's like having an extra sense. Usually when you edit you rely on sight, or you read the words aloud, but even reading aloud you still read past mistakes. So, why are there still typos? Because your brain reads what it expects to see.
With this voice-over tool, it reads to me and I can instantly pick up where I forgot a period, need a comma, have too many commas, used a word twice, or the sentence just doesn't make sense. Often one will cut and paste stuff, then forget or get distracted and the sentence is gobbledygook.
The voice is pretty robotic which is a bit disconcerting at first, but if you read as the voice speaks it's fine and you get used to it.
There are some annoying things. If you abbreviate a name like Beatrice to Bea, the voice spells it out. If you use an em dash it sort of joins everything without a pause. If you have a character stutter, like "I--it can't." then it reads the first letter a I, as in "I, it can't.", but I can live with those little hiccups. I even get used to it.
I recently started converting my YA book, Akir the Warrior Boy to the Smashwords format. This book has been edited hundreds of times by me, beta readers and my editor Sandy Tritt from Inspiration For Writers Inc. and there were still typos--GGGRRR.
It's also great for editing academic works, which are usually dry as dust, just like the voice, but you will pick up typos.
I would strongly urge all writers to use this toy (tool) if you aren't already.
Here is the link: