Text to Speech

I know I’m late to the party, but text to speech is awesome.

I first discovered my computer could do this around three years ago, and you’d think I’d discovered the meaning of life. It was just so amazing to me to hear something I wrote read back to me, even though it sounded robotic. It was like my very own audiobook! I do read my stuff aloud, which I highly recommend you do, but hearing it read by someone else is a great way to distance yourself from your work. And a bonus way to catch mistakes!

I was so amazed by this, in fact, that I wrote it into my novel. When Lily is typing and has writer’s block, she kills time with text to speech.

Anyway, my computer is a bit glitchy lately with this process, only reading one paragraph at a time unless I do this one thing and another thing…it’s a long story, so I turned to the internet. Behold: Text to Speech Reader!

Just paste whatever you want to hear in the text box, and bam, audio magic. It’s funny, because my built-in TTS actually has more voice options, so I don’t know why I’m so excited about this internet one.

Oh, no, wait. I do know.

They have a British voice! True, it’s a bit robotic sounding too, but it’s hilarious to hear Tyler’s dialogue in a British accent. And Lily’s for that matter. This site doesn’t have a female option, which I’d actually prefer since my novel is first person as Lily. But hey. It’s still cool.

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Mark’s dialogue sounds pretty natural with an accent. But Hunter? Oh, my. Imagine if Downton Abbey had an overdramatically (not a word for some reason) flamboyant character and that’s pretty much what he sounds like.

This style of reading does have its problems. It sounds much better than some TTS generators I’ve heard, but it still has that robotic tone. You hear it more with some words than others. Also, this guy doesn’t pronounce “so” or “do” fully, so it ends up mushing together with the next word. For example, “so many” sounds like “s’many”. Plus, he doesn’t read questions as questions or give emphasis to italicized words. Monotone all the way. I still like the site. It’s free; what do you want?

I’ve probably spent more time than necessary listening to my chapters, but I’m convinced it’s part of the revision process, so there. I just thought I’d share my discovery with you.

Have a good week!

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