1. carsun1000
    Offline

    carsun1000 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    31

    Text to Speech, great help for writers?

    Discussion in 'Software' started by carsun1000, Jun 1, 2011.

    I don't know if this could work for this forum's visitors but I think it is ok with me :). I decided to download a free text to speech software online so I could listen to what I have written so far, and I have to say that it has really helped me in fixing useless mistakes. I am a fast typer. So fast sometimes that I miss a preposition or an article here and there. When I listen to every chapter I have written, I have been able to go back to the manuscript and fix my mistakes. Sometimes, it has also helped me redirect my idea if I didn't like the way it sounded. I am not sure anyone else here uses Text to Speech softwares but personally, it has helped me get better with editing my own work before I turn it in to professional editors.
    Have you ever used or thought about using this method?
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
    Offline

    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    1,792
    Likes Received:
    55
    Location:
    UK
    I use the best text-to-speech software there is, and read out loud. :D
     
  3. Trilby
    Offline

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    NE England
    Never heard of this before - but it sounds good to me. I may try it.
     
  4. Trilby
    Offline

    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    2,098
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    NE England
    Thanks! I'm going to Glasgow today - I'll check it out when I come back. I tend to leave words out of my text and even after a read though, I don't always pick up on them.

    I notice you're new here, welcome to the forums.
     
  5. Jonp
    Offline

    Jonp Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    3
    I like this. Never thought of it before. My problem is I hate re-reading what I've written. I have no idea how I got through my degree without ever proofreading my work. This is a good idea.
     
  6. Lord Malum
    Offline

    Lord Malum Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Kansas City, KS
    Like Dragon? Perhaps it could be just another tool/method used by authors who are comfortable with it. Personally, I can't even read aloud well so I can't imagine writing aloud (that sounds odd...).
     
  7. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    READ YOUR WORK ALOUD. I've said that on this forum before. Don't have some machine do it for you. Would you have a machine write it for you?

    Jonp, how can you be a writer if you hate re-reading what you've written? My advice to you is to write better - write so well that you love re-reading your stuff. When all is said and done, you have to love your work.
     
  8. Jonp
    Offline

    Jonp Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    3
    It harkens back to school and university with dull science-based courseworks and lab reports. Those are what I hated re-reading. I am not yet at a stage when I need to re-read my novel, however when I do reach that stage I will still use this text-to-speech thing. You can't compare having it read to you by a computer to having it written by a computer, so I have no idea what you're trying to say there. Listening to it being read means I can work on other things at the same time, see how it flows and spot any errors. I would not only rely on that method and then submit it, but I'd imagine it's a good way to catch obvious errors.
     
  9. carsun1000
    Offline

    carsun1000 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2011
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    31
    The art of writing is a different business to all of us. And in the end, it is the result that matters really, not how you got to that result. I love writing but I hate making mistakes. This technique gives me a chance to get the best out of myself. And like I said in the original post, I will still have professional editors check my work even if I think there is not one single mistake in my work.
     
  10. spklvr
    Offline

    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    734
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Sarpsborg, Norway
    That might be a problem for me who stops listening to myself if I read aloud for too long :p

    I think I'll try this. Do they sound an awful lot like machines though? I'm not saying they need to read it with feeling, but if they sound like the thing youtube had for a while to read the comments you were writing, I'm not going to be able to take my story seriously. I can imagine this would be helpful in hearing if a sentence sounds completely weird out loud as well.
     
  11. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I find speech to text much more useful. It's a great timesaver, even having to make many corrections. But text to speech is not helpful.

    If you are not actively reading aloud, you will miss things that require fixing.

    But I really don't mind reading out loud. I've read The Lord of the Rings aloud to my kids twice, from beginning to end (different ages, the youngest was too young when I read it the first time).
     
  12. IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer
    Offline

    IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    3
    I've never done this, (I'll read both quietly and aloud to myself, depending on what stage I'm at) but I can see one place where it could be a great advantvantage to use as an additional tool: I tend to see what I meant to write, instead of what I actually wrote. I know there needs to be a "to" there, I meant to put a "to" there, so I'll assume there's a "to" and read the non-existent "to" without seeing that I left it out. The text-to-speech wouldn't do that, and I'll think "hey, it skipped over the... oh whoops".

    So I might have to try this. For me it would be a late stage thing, rather than in the earlier stages of revision.
     
  13. DeviouSquirrel
    Offline

    DeviouSquirrel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    Messages:
    56
    Likes Received:
    20
    Location:
    Glasgow, Scotland
    My problem with reading aloud is that I hate my voice, and have trouble saying "R" because I'm tongue-tied... So I don't read my writing aloud as it annoys me, because I make perfectly good sentences sound awkward. Text to speech, however, seems like it could work for me. I may give it a try next time I need to edit.
     
  14. Liza
    Offline

    Liza Active Member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hmm, hearing my own writing read might be useful. Then I'd hear it for myself, without analyzing it on Word so much.
     
  15. Sundae
    Offline

    Sundae Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2011
    Messages:
    362
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Astral Weeks
    I've never heard of using text to speech to correct errors. I'll have to try. It might be interesting to see how my story sounds aloud even with an automated voice.

    Reading aloud sucks sometimes but tis very helpful. I can recite my whole first chapter of my novel (upwards of 4000 words) by memory. I don't even have to look at my word copy or print-out.
     
  16. Jonp
    Offline

    Jonp Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Messages:
    114
    Likes Received:
    3
    Think of it as having a bedtime story read to you by Steven Hawking :)
     
  17. Unsavory
    Offline

    Unsavory Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Eugene, OR, USA
    I tried doing this once and it didn't really help me. The novelty of having a robot-girl reading my story to me was kind of fun for thirty seconds, but it didn't help me find and correct errors. The voice isn't natural enough to help catch awkward sentences, and it's still easy to miss minor typographical errors.
     
  18. darkhaloangel
    Offline

    darkhaloangel Active Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2011
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    5
    It is just like that! And unless your target audience is Stephen Hawkins it's not so useful. It's just a little too lifeless. Although I will admit to trying this, but I fell asleep after about 3min it was just so droning. :)
     
  19. cynthia_1968
    Offline

    cynthia_1968 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    I've been using TTS since '11. It's very useful when you're not a native American (or British for that matter). But mostly I use TTS for computer animations in combination with some other software to create diff. voices.

    Listening to TTS actually taught me to speak with a less Dutch (funny) accent.

    My skills are in progress though :D

    TTFN
    Cynthia
     
  20. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    Only if you use a free voice. The more expensive professional voices are much more natural and human sounding with accents you can select. And I do use T2S for review.
     
  21. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,841
    Likes Received:
    10,017
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    If you're on a Mac, this is a built-in feature.
     
  22. Larissa Redeker
    Offline

    Larissa Redeker Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Dark elves lands
    Good idea. But I need to learn to write in English first. Really, text to speech in Portuguese isn't a thing that you want to listen for a long time :/
     
  23. cynthia_1968
    Offline

    cynthia_1968 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2014
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    45
    Location:
    Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    Windows has it too. But external, commercial, software offers better voices then the free TTS that you OS provides.

    TTS was even available in the early 1990s. I had so much fun with Dr. Sbaitso.

    "Do you know you can change my colors?"

    LOL

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._Sbaitso
    :rofl:
     
  24. Charisma
    Offline

    Charisma Transposon Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Messages:
    2,704
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Lahore, Pakistan
    I actually use this quite frequently. I'm surprised to see I'm the odd one out! The software I've installed has an add-on in my word processor, so I don't need to open it separately--I just press a button and Mrs. Wall-E starts reading out my work. :D I have to agree, it's not a all-round cure, but it doesn't bother me much because I read out loud as I type anyway--I even act out complex scenes before/while writing them.

    Having a machine do the later reading for me is simply to give my larynx a rest and focus on listening to the sentences rather than just focus on reading it myself. For a fact, hearing your work in a voice that's not yours makes it easier to pick out technical errors, at least in my experience. Especially if you're susceptible to 'read' something correctly, even if it's not written correctly (e.g. you skipped a word but you speak it anyway without realizing it's not actually written there), like @IfAnEchoDoesntAnswer said.

    Why not? And for the analogy, yes, if speech-to-text could understand my accent.

    I would also add to the latter point that though I do love re-reading my work, in my head anyway--out loud, at times, is unduly exhausting. Reading a 3,000-word chapter can get tiresome quickly and I would instead wish to put my energy in the typing, not speaking.
     

Share This Page