My New Writing Technique
First, some general updates. I think my Critters.org submission for Dawn’s Rise went okay. I didn’t get as hostile a response as last time, and a couple people actually provided some keen insight into what was “missing” from my writing. I think I may have picked up some more beta readers as well, which is always good. Anyone else interested in beta reading Dawn’s Rise please let me know. I do think I shot myself in the foot because my submission was too long and people like to deal with shorter material, so I’ll keep that in mind for next time.
My wife is doing better. Hopefully next week we’ll get the “all clear” to start putting weight on her broken leg. I think it will really help her get around. Having to rely on my lazy butt for everything is driving her up the wall. Things have calmed down a bit and I’ve started to resume a somewhat more normal routine.
I’ve made some decisions as to my running. I don’t think I’m going to compete in any more Triathlons this year. I just don’t have time to train for three sports (run, swim, bike) simultaneously. My new goal is now the Seattle Half Marathon which is the weekend right after Thanksgiving. Having a goal always improves my workouts. I’m going to continue swimming and biking when I can, but only as cross-training at this point.
Finally, about Dawn’s Rise. (Takes deep breath). I’ve written a long blog post that I haven’t posted called “State of the Novel Address”. It’s a long rambly whiny post about how hard editing is, and how many issues I have to address before DR is queryable. My conclusion is that I want DR out to agents by Oct. 1, 2009. I don’t think this is doable but it does give me a goal to shoot for. I have three other projects that are starving for attention, plus a couple other things waiting in the wings.
Now for the “meat” of the post. I heard about this from other blogs, and unfortunately I can’t find them now to credit them appropriately (but you know who you are…thanks!). I download a text-to-speech app from NaturalSoft. Based on the feedback I’ve received over the last week, I’ve started a complete rewrite of the first few chapters. I stick my writing into the speech app, close my eyes, and listen to the words. It’s amazing how awkward certain phrases sound when read aloud. Now it’s not perfect, far from it. It can’t distinguish homonyms like wind and wind, read and read etc, and of course it stumbles through my made-up words like Eyespy (it says EE-YESP-I), but it’s helped a lot. I guess it’s something about how the brain works listening vs. reading. After all, literature has its roots in spoken word. If anyone has any suggestions for good text-to-speech apps for Vista let me know.