Home   |   LCS Prints Store   |   About Me   |   FAQ   

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

The Voice of (New) Experience - IWSG January 2024

Welcome to IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh. Thank you to this month’s co-hosts, Joylene Nowell Butler, Olga Godim, Diedre Knight, and Natalie AguirreTo read posts from other contributors, click here.

Happy New Year all!

Since I’ve had no experience with BookBub, I’m going to ignore this month’s question. Instead, I'll tell you about how my year ended with a good start.

Seems like I’ve been writing forever, never getting to where I want to be, but still plugging. A lot of it is my own fault in that I don’t push myself hard enough. But that aside, I’m aware I have a weakness with accuracy. No matter how I struggle to proofread—reading aloud, letting a manuscript rest, printing the piece out and using my red pen to mark it up, changing the font so things look different, I miss mistakes that make my work look amateurish. I overlook where “then” should be “than,” where “you are,” should become “you’re,” and where I say the same things three different ways when one would do. When proofing, my mind goes too fast. I know what I wanted to write and my brain assumes I wrote it. Even worse, I make typos while correcting the mistakes I discover.

I don’t know what took me so long. I’ve been aware of the “Read Aloud” feature in Word for years, but midway through December and half-way through an edit of my current manuscript, something made me start using it.

Holy Moly, what a difference a boring voice makes. With monotone computer woman droning at me, I catch mistakes because with her lack of inflection, she forces me to hear them. Whether it’s leaving out a comma (She doesn’t pause, so I stop and look.), catching where I’d changed a tense but left in “ing” instead of “ed,” hearing where a sentence is just plumb awkward, the list goes on and on. I go back and forth between being horrified at just how many mistakes there are, and grateful that finally, finally, I seem to have discovered the means with which to fix (most of) them.

It’s been a hallelujah, praise the Lord kind of few weeks for me—an early Christmas gift of confidence to think that maybe in this way, I can continue to improve my work. 

Once I get through my current manuscript, I’ll decide where it goes from there. While that’s happening, I have three other novels gathering dust in a proverbial drawer. I’m going to let computer voice have her way with them, too.

Do you use the "Read Aloud" feature in Word? What are your best tips for accurate proofreading?