For the past week I've been playing with my new toy. It's software called ReadPlease. What it does is...read. In my case, it's reading my Work In Progress. I copy/paste in a chapter and it reads it to me in a bit of a monotone with a voice named Crystal.
You can change the speed the voice reads, and the size of the text. What I do is read the chapter first, then I use the software. I'm shocked at what I missed the first time through when I read along with Crystal. Missing words, repetitive words. I also noticed punctuation glitches as I read along. This thing is great. (Although it's annoying that she reads m-dashes and ellipses instead of skipping over them.)
I did have a free version of the software that I used a bit during my Dead In Red rewrite, but it eventually "ran out" and I had to decide if I wanted to pay for the privilege to use it. I'm glad I did. The "Plus" version of the software lets you teach the computer how to say words. Like prosciutto. It had no clue and it came out so convoluted it was laughable. I taught it to say "pro zuto."
Although I've already submitted Dead In Red to my publisher, I haven't received my edit. So I decided I'd go ahead and run it through the software before then. "Mike" reads my Jeff stuff. He's seems to have a bit more inflexion than Crystal. It's kind of like hearing your manuscript as an audiobook, which is something I'll probably never hear. (Although I did once suggest to my friend Lee (who has radio voice) to "perform" Murder on The Mind and "self publish" it once the rights return to me. Talk about a pipe dream!)
Just for fun, I had Mike read this blog entry. Sounded pretty cool!