Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Rinse. Repeat.

Isn't it lovely to have someone who believes in you? My very good friend and alpha reader Aleta came to visit. She ASKED (can you imagine a better friend?) to read it out loud to me so we could discuss it as we went. So, between taking the kids to the circus and going to the YMCA, we sat on the couch and I listened.

It was really strange to hear my words read aloud. It was almost like they were a real story and made it so easy to spot problems. As we worked through the first hundred pages I realized I have a lot of good things on the paper and some things that aren't there yet.

This photo is from last year.
Yes, we have arranged marriages planned.
 I won't embarrass the kids by naming names.

I've been listening to each chapter on 'narrator' (In case you've missed other mentions, this program comes with microsft windows. You can't use it in office, but if you paste into wordpad, then you can listen as the computer reads text.) Unfortunately, a computer can't inflect or answer questions, so you miss where the meaning or emphasis is ambiguous. And you can't ask a computer if the humor is too much, if the dialogue sounds stilted, or if it's okay to use the word 'discombobulated'. Not that I would try to pull that off. 'Discombobulated' is incontravertably unweildy. See how much I need a reader?

It was like a book club about my very favorite book in the whole world and it went on and on. I cannot say how much I appreciated the time that was given to me. I hope that you find people that expect you to succeed like this, whatever the area of your life it occurs in.

Aleta returned to her home in Arizona but left behind a few hundred items to fix. I'm thinking about reading and recording the other 300 pages so I can listen to it. Truly, this was one of the best writing exercises I've ever done. There is no other way to get such thorough feedback. So, goodbye for now readers. I have a lot of work to do!


  1. Geez, you guys look like a small city!

  2. Krista V.- I was aware that she is a much better friend to me than I am to her;)

    Steph- Haha! It feels like I'm feeding, clothing and bathing a city, that's for

  3. ...sure. oops. Too many interruptions!

  4. That's a great friend. I use the computer to read my words back. It definitely helps pick up words that words that don't belong or awkward sentences, but your right the inflection is hard to hear from a robotic voice.

  5. I am going to attempt to read the next novel aloud - once the publishers send me the galley proof - that's the last chance I have to find any typos or whatever I need to change....I've never read my novel(s) aloud, so I am *gulping* a bit at the thought, but, I do know, as you saw/heard, that reading our work aloud brings in a entirely new picture.

    Same as when I read my work on the MS word page vs the printed out page!

    I'd never thought of using the narrator - that's interesting.

    (and Kelly, thank you for your words about my SG trailer)

    PS - that photo makes me smile!

  6. Hi Patti- Anything that helps you notice more words is good, imo.

    And Kat, that's so exciting/scary. Is it the same scary on your second book?

    Thanks for stopping by! -Kelly