Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hearing Me Out

I am listening to a story read to me by Google, United Kingdom, en-gb-x-rjs#female_3-local. She's a mature voice, and I like her.

Oh, it's not that Google, United Kingdom, en-gb-x-rjs#male_1 or even Samsung, USA, en-US-SMTF00 fail to deliver and render this story accurately. Simply, I enjoy hearing British female_3-local read this historical fiction story professionally and matter-of-fact as if she were a professor of History; as if this story was a subject worthy of discussion on one of those prestigious BBC programs.

Unfortunately for British female_3-local, the story she is reading aloud with such determination is my story. She is helping me review my written work so that I can proficiency cringe at all my errors and wonder – sometimes aloud, just the same: What the hell was I thinking?

British female_3-local never fails to do her job, if but a few unsuccessful French or German-isms here and there. Surprisingly, she does not charge me for the pleasure of listening to all my flawed writing, because British female_3-local comes free. I have utilized one of the many TTS Apps – that’s Text to Speech apps -- available on my phone to read my latest draft of my World War II romance novel. And, while not all apps are equal, the “@ Voice Read Aloud” app is excellent at instilling in me a much obligatory, if tragic sense of perpetual revision.

Yes, experiencing my story draft read aloud has amplified all the pleasure a writer might find in editing out entire scenes once thought brilliant or editing in Story once thought unnecessary. What was the writing life like without TTS apps? This powerful tool not only reveals otherwise hidden inconsistencies in both my story structure and writing style, it can also persuade me to an unquestionable religious conviction: I am so amazingly grateful to all deities that this story has yet to make it to your eyes and ears!

British female_3-local encourages such a consistent doubting in my skills, that my dream of publishing even an ink blot may never be fulfilled. Good to know that! Yet, why do I still force myself to take both mental and pen&paper notes of the most egregious errors as she reads them off during incubation time points at work, or traveling back and forth to work in my car, or while working to keep dinner from ruin? 

Because, British female=3-local keeps me working...working on a story that, somehow, I still love. Thus, she is a valuable tool of the 21st Century for writers like me who need to hear their own words thrown back at them from a machine’s point of view and with no regard to how it hurts. 

If you wish to hear your own story read to you, find a friendly voice in TTS. And for goodness’ sake, make it British so that you feel you hadn't the class and/or the education to write a good story in the first place.

Figures 1, 2, and 3: Writing before TTS Apps (not pictured: Doritos):


Writing device...



  1. I need some consultation. How much does your consultant charge?

  2. Frankly, I haven't a quack. I can't understand a word he says!