Will You Read Me My Story?
One of the big things you hear when people talk about editing best practices is reading the pages aloud. Either reading to yourself or getting software to read it to you.
On this 3rd round of edits, I’ve finally started to fully embrace this advice. Instead of just mumbling along to myself, I find when someone/thing else reads it to me, I don’t skim or assume what the words say as much. I can hear the awkward wording, the repeated phrases.
It’s taken me quite a bit of trial and error, but I’ve got a system now.
The voices for all the options are like a GPS, not always catching nuances and having issues with homophones (words that sound the same). For example, “lead” always sounds like the metal instead of guiding someone somewhere.
I tried using Windows Narrator, but it didn’t like google docs, I didn’t have headphones for my computer, and it was annoying having to c/p into a text editor. I’ve heard MS Word will read to you, but I don’t have Office.
a – I tried using VoiceOver on my iPad mini. Listening there and editing on my PC. But the accessibility feature means you need to double-tap after selecting anything and it would only do line-by-line with me tapping to advance. The VoiceOver was not very well tested. It caused gDocs to crash regularly on iPad ( b – What I’m using now is ‘Speak Selection’ on my iPad mini, while making the edits on my PC. They both sync real-time. gDocs has not crashed and saves my spot in the document after I put it away for the night. Sometimes, it does have to wait for the whole document to reload before it will start reading.
Go to Settings > General > Accessibility
Tap Speak Selection
from the list at the top of the screen
Adjust the Speaking Rate
(Choose a setting near the (s)lower end)
I also downloaded the English (South America) dialect, because I wanted to. I’m definitely enjoying it. They’ve got US, Australia, UK, Ireland, and South America.
I highlight the text I want it to read, then tap ‘Speak’, when the options Copy/Select All/Cut/Speak/Etc appear. I find for editing, if I do more than a paragraph or 2, I’ll get lost doing edits while it keeps going.