Tools of the trade: Someone to read me a bedtime story

One thing I’ve found that really helps me is to hear anything I write read back to me.  We think audibly, and when we read, our brains translate those words into our subconscious voice to varying degrees.  

Now, my wife, as patient and dedicated as she is, wouldn’t read 95,500 words into a tape recorder or my ear, and I can’t blame her.  I bought a copy of TextAloud, and after some seeking a “better” voice module, can honestly say this was instrumental in my cuts and rewrites from first draft to second.  It’s amazing how, while listening to something I put onto paper, I’d stop and say “ugh, that doesn’t work.”

The built-in voice is pretty bad, but there are a wide variety of options out there – all manner of accent and gender. I Installed it on my Netbook and listened to it on my T-ride to and from work. I think the hearing does make a difference.  For around a $50 investment, you have someone to read to you on demand, and someone who can even read other things like emails, electronic books, etc.  Anyone try anything similar?

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