Proofreading with precision takes time, patience, and effort to develop on your own. However, if you’re looking to become a better writing critic, consider using read aloud functions when proofreading.
Think about it: whenever you read, you’re listening to the words in your head. That’s why so many people imagine character voices as they snuggle with their favorite books.
Here’s five benefits proofreading with audio helps you improve your writing.
1. The audio won’t skip any words
When you write something down, you might think you’ve translated words onto the page exactly as you imagined. However, sometimes what you’re trying to say doesn’t come out quite as nicely as you originally intended.
These mistakes go undetected because your brain has a natural tendency to fill in words and letters as it goes. Here’s an example:
yuor biran olny rdaes a fwe lteters of a wrod, so yuo cna porbably raed tehse msissepllings.
While this example is extreme, this means there could be small mistakes you’re missing even though you’ve proofread your work thousands of times. Think of similar words like stationary/stationery, compliment/complement, and affect/effect. These mistakes may not be noticed unless you hear the words spoken aloud. Consider using audio to help you proofread with precision and improve your writing.
2. You can find out where your dialogue is lacking
Dialogue is hard to write because it’s a reflection of how people speak in the real world. How characters speak and convey information is a vital part to any story, so it’s important to write language effectively.
Consider having your computer read dialogue to see if it sounds too generic, weird, or over-the-top. Oftentimes you can find out if what you wrote sounds silly by hearing the sentence played back to yourself.
Audio is also helpful for finding out if your characters speak with a certain dialect. For example, if your character doesn’t speak in contractions, audio can help you hear if you’re accomplishing the goal of making them speak formally. Using audio can help you improve your writing and figure out if you’re achieving your intended feel.
3. It can help you focus on your content
Sometimes writers glaze over the words and phrases they wrote if they think they know them beat for beat. However, listening to your writing can help you maintain focus on your sentence structure and overall presentation. Some programs will highlight the words as it reads them so you can follow along with your eyes, allowing you to proofread with precision.
By using read aloud functions, you’re actively both seeing and hearing the words. This means you’ll be more likely to notice if you should make adjustments to your writing.
4. You can immerse yourself in your story
When you proofread with audio, you have the ability to sit back and see if you can follow along with what you wrote. This has much to do with paragraph structure and how you choose to lead one sentence into the next.
Stories must be told in a logical, linear order. Sure, it’s important to dress up the sentences with pretty prose and funny one-liners, but proofreading is about perfecting what you wrote so it makes sense to others. You already understand the context, world building, and character depth, so it’s your job to get your readers to the same level.
5. Audio can save you time
When you proofread with audio, you might think initially it’ll be a slow process because the program needs to read each word. However, audio is actually great for saving time in the long run.
Think about it: do you get stuck reading the same paragraph over and over? Your time is valuable, so consider using audio to find the glaring mistakes fast. Skim-reading is only beneficial if you’re doing one last checkup after you critically analyze your writing beforehand.
Are you ready to start using audio to proofread?
Think about how audio can help you improve your writing in a whole new way. You’ll get to make yourself a better writer by taking a step back and reviewing your piece from a new perspective.
After all, it never hurts to try new methods at bettering your proofreading. Good luck, and as always, happy writing!
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