Back in the day my class’ name was Beach’s Best. I wanted my class to think of themselves as a team, and as a team I wanted everyone in the class, including me to be their best. To do their best. I still do.
One of the tips I heard years ago to catch your writing mistakes was to read your work out loud. You will hear what sounds awkward, or even wrong. It really works!
But now I discovered something better than sitting in my chair and reading my stories to myself. It’s not having someone else read it. I’m retired. Usually there’s me, myself, and I in the house, and my husband. I don’t think he’s ever read anything I’ve written, other than a text message.
Are you wondering what I found? Good! Adding more words and making you wait adds to the tension. You want to have tension in a story, but not too much!
Can you guess what it is? It involves the computer. If my husband is in the room it involves headphones. Can you guess now?
It’s using the narrator setting on my computer. I can hear my words so I can hear what’s wrong. Sure, it’s in a computer voice, but that’s better than my own, even though I’m a great oral reader.
When I use the computer, I don’t have to focus on decoding the words and putting the sound and meaning together. With the computer I listen to the sound and meaning. I cut my work in half, and that’s a great thing.
Whenever I write one of my web posts, I always use the narrator function on my computer. It usually takes like 5-9 times through the post before I publish it. It makes good writing so much easier.
When I write stories, like NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM, I do the content first (the story). Then I go back and run it through the narrator function until I’m happy with it. If I just got a critique from one of my writing friends, I make the changes, and then I run it back through the narrator again.
If you’re writing in Microsoft Word and want to use the narrator function, hit control/windows/delete at the same time, and it will open the function. Then click on caps/m to start it. To leave, click on caps/escape. If you don’t use word, you can google how to use a narrator on your program.
Another writing tip is to find great sources with interesting facts that you can share with your audience. If you have a book or science report to do, I have a pair of animal books in My Reads that you should check out.
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!