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Tip Tuesday #124

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.

Today's tip was sent in by Kate Oliver, author of the newly released YA novel Caterpillar. This is her first tip here, and you can find her at her blog, Notes from the Dot. Enjoy!

One of the best tricks many writers employ while revising a manuscript is to read that baby out loud, which helps you hear awkward dialog, run-on sentences, and so forth. And it works really well, but it doesn't help you find things like typos or missing words. The fact is, when you are reading your own work, your eye sees--and fills in--what it expects to see.

What I recently figured out is that you can get around this by loading your manuscript up on your kindle (just email the .doc file--it'll be ready to go in a few minutes). Then, turn on the text-to-speech function. Voila! That robotic little voice picks up everything (though why it correctly pronounces "wunderkind" but not "yeah" is another matter). I can't tell you the number of little errors I've found this way in my own work, and I hope this tip is helpful to someone else!

~Kate Oliver

16 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tip!

    Because I hate the sound of my voice - I tend to read aloud in my head! LOL!

    Take care
    x

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  2. Great tip Kate. Makes me wish I had a Kindle. I do read my manuscripts aloud at some point. And I agree. It helps. Good luck with your book.

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  3. I have yet to try this, though other writers have mentioned it. Maybe I'm just afraid to hear my kindle speak. LOL. Thanks for the tip!

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  4. I've had Scrivener read it aloud but I'll have to try Kindle next time. Thanks!

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  5. Wow! I always read my ms aloud and send it to my Kindle, but I didn't know the Kindle could read it to me! Thanks for the tip.

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  6. I do read my manuscripts aloud--but you are so right on with our own eyes filling in what isn't there. But...I don't have a Kindle yet...

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  7. That's a great idea! I don't have a kindle yet, but I've asked critique partners to read my work aloud. It's illuminating, but also rewarding when they read it the way you imagined in your head.

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  8. Wow!! Fantastic tip. I am trying this TODAY!! Thank you, Kate!

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  9. Didn't know you could do that on a kindle. Hmm.

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  10. How bizarre to hear my work spoken in robot! I can see what you mean about it being helpful for creating distance, though. The other thing I thought about trying was making my own audiobook and playing it back to myself to figure out what's working and what's not.

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  11. I'm currently reading my story on my kindle and catching lots of things that way. I'll have to fix up the draft and try it again listening to it. Thanks! :)

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  12. Great tip. Guess I'd better buy a Kindle. Hmm, Mother's Day is just around the corner...

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  13. Very cool tip! I had no idea a Kindle had that function. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. Thank you! This is a great idea that I have not tried. Thanks for sharing! ~Megan

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  15. What a great suggestion! (And I love the cover of her book.)

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