Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What I Wish I knew

I wish I knew about Anna or someone like her when I first started writing.

Not the Anna from my book Seventy Two Hours,(though I do love her.) but Microsoft Anna. She reads your story back for you. She's that text-to-voice software that is already in your PC. I found her in my Vista. Mac has one too. Even Windows XP has a version.

But I believe Anna has them beat. She is sitting in your "Accessories" folder. Look under "Ease of Access."

She helps you hear missing words or even filler words.

And!

If you love starting dialogue lines with words like my special favorite, "Hey," then she'll help you with that too. It's very convenient to be able to have your story read back to you.

She may mispronounce a word here or a word there, but she's worth her weight in erasers.

So the next time you're knee-deep in edits, ask Anna for some help. After all, that's what she's there for. :)

Did you know about Anna?

39 comments:

  1. wow, thank you for this post because NO, I did NOT know about Anna and that would be so perfect for me!!

    You Rock!

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  2. Thanks Robyn! I had heard a little a program through Microsoft that read your manuscript out loud, but I had no idea how to access it.

    This is great information! I'll be talking with Anna real soon.

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  3. Kristi, just be careful to take it off after you are done with her for the day, because she WILL read everything. Your email and EVERYTHING. But she is so nice to have. :)

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  4. Tamika, she really is a dream. I needed to HEAR the words without seeing them. You know? :)

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  5. I didn't know about Anna. What a cool editing assistant. Hearing the words can make all the difference when trying to rethink a passage or dialogue section.

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  6. Wow. I am big into reading out loud, but it is amazing how different another's voice changes things. Thanks! Glad I stopped by!

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  7. I haven't used Anna yet, but I plan on it at some point. I read about her a few months back on some other site . . . but a reminder is nice, because the chaos of my life often makes me forget why I stood up from my desk. : )

    S

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  8. Kelly, It is pretty cool. And I need to actually hear the words. Then I make notes about what to change as ol' Anna reads to me. :)

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  9. Judith, thank you so much for stopping by. I appreciate it and glad Anna can be of help to you. She is a great help to me. I hope she will be to you too. :)

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  10. Scott, use it, use it! And sometimes I forget why I walked into a room. YIKES! :)

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  11. The older we get, the more we foget. I worked for one company, and the Finance Director came in one day and was like "I drive the same way to work every single day, and have been doing it for years. This morning, I got to one stop sign and I couldn't remember whether I should turn left or right!" So far, that hasn't happened to me. Now, who are you and why am I commenting on your blog?? : )

    S

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  12. Fantastic tip! I haven't played with voice software since I bought my first Mac back in '95 (I've had to join the PC camp this century). Then it was a funny novelty to switch around to different voices and have your e-mail read as a woman, a man, a blipping robot...

    I thing Anna would help me tremendously with my biggest editing problem--leaving words out and not seeing it b/c my brain automatically fills them in *even when I read aloud*!

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  13. Holy Cow! What a revelation! But I don't have Vista. Grrr. Just Window XP. I'm going to have to learn how to find the Xp version, because I think I'm hooked, just hearing about this!!! Thank you so much.

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  15. I'd say I knew about her, but I forgot about her. Thanks for the reminder! I've never used a voice to read my stories out loud to me, but I think that is a really great idea. I'm almost done with a recent story I have been working on, so maybe I'll try that tonight!

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  16. I didn't know this. Thanks a bunch! Will check it out. Have a great day:)

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  17. Okay Scott(is that your name?):), I messed my other comment up and it was sooo good too. I actually do KNOW how to spell, I think. Anyway, I haven't gotten lost on the way home yet, but one day driving home with Ivy from 4-H, we were talking and I missed my turn. She proceeded to tell the family and ANYONE who would listen, that I had gotten lost on the way home.

    The family was a little worried and I had to explain myself. SHEESH!

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  18. laurel, it is a wonderful device that Anna. I love her. I am going to let her read to me this weekend. :)

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  19. Linda, I think it should be in about the same place for XP, though I'm not sure on this. Good luck, because it really is helpful.:)

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  20. Davin, I'm glad I could remind you. Your blog is always so helpful to me. Time to repay the favor. :)

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  21. Karen, do check her out. She's a gem! Have a wonderful rest of the day. :)

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  22. Since I hate the sound of my own voice I'll have to see if my older mac has that.

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  23. Oh my gosh! This is so awesome. I am looking at this right now. Thank you, Robyn!

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  24. Yes, I recently heard about Anna. I haven't tried her out yet, but I think I'll go do that now.

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  25. Patti, I hope it does. It really helps you to REALLY hear your story. :)

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  26. Cindy, she is really something. Glad you found it! :)

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  27. Susan, try it, try it. Let me know how you like her. :)

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  28. Wow, Robyn, that is such a cool tip. I hadn't found Anna and now will go check her out!

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  29. Go check her out Tricia. She IS way cool! :)

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  30. I can't find her! Anna, where are you? I see a narrator, but no Anna. Hmmm...

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  31. That is it, PJ. I forget when it tells you it is Anna. :)

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  32. Thanks so much for this. I must try Anna out for sure!

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  33. I'm gonna go look for Anna right now. I've been neglecting her.

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  34. Heavens no, girl! I just learned about blogging.

    What will they think of next?

    Wince. Sigh. MY MOTHER DROVE ME CRAZY WITH THIS COMMENT.

    Fun fun and educational post!!!!!

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  35. Hey there Patti! Thank you. And let Anna help you girl. :)

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