Usually I associate writing voice with my narrator. Is it first person or third? Could more than one character tell the story or, as I've heard some writers argue, does a shifting perspective betray a lack of focus?
All valid questions ... and nothing to do with today's post.
There's a very active writing community on Twitter. Search #amwriting or #amediting or #writingcommunity and you'll disappear under a mound of funny, insightful, vaguely panicked, often celebratory posts from writers across the world. Today, there's been a discussion around using text to speech programmes to assist editing.
A number of writers have said the monotone of the computer voice helps them catch typos. Others say it weeds out boring passages. If your words sing whilst being read by Microsoft's dullest (rather than dulcet) tones, then you know they'll keep your readers entranced.
There are different programmes available including Voice Dream, Speechify and Natural Reader.
Fired with enthusiasm, I tried Microsoft's own programme. Regardless of speed, tone or sex, it sounded like a computer. There was no nuance, no warmth, no timing, none of the different voices that I love when I'm reading aloud.
For some, that's the point. The impersonal nature makes it easier to focus on the words.
But, it made me realise how much I value the rhythm of prose. It's integral to the meaning.
I haven't tried the other programmes yet. In the meantime, I've recorded myself reading some chapters. There's always a risk, I'll fall into reading what I wanted to write rather than the words on the page, but it has brought an element of fun to editing.
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