Today's wonderfully useful tip was sent in by M.X. Kremzen who blogs about fascinating things here and Tweets @MXKremzen. This is M.X.'s first tip submission so please visit and offer a warm welcome. Here's the tip!
When you're writing a book that falls into speculative genres like fantasy, you're bound to make up names/words along the way. While you have liberty as a writer to play around with spelling and pronunciation, you'll probably want your readers to say a certain name/word the same way you do. This is where a site like Google Translate comes in handy. You can type any word into the text box, hit the speaker icon in the bottom right corner, and an automated voice will pronounce the word for you. For example, I have a species in my sci-fi/fantasy book, The Dark Matter Chronicles, called the Dakarrians. The name was originally spelled "Dakarian' but I found that without the extra 'r', the emphasis fell on the wrong syllable.Tip Tuesday features writers' tips on craft, research, querying, blogging, marketing, inspiration, and more. If you'd like to send in a tip, please e-mail me at agentspotlight(at)gmail(dot)com.
It's also useful for figuring out how to pronounce the names of characters in books I'm reading.