October 30, 2017

Changing the Voices

By Becky Villareal

I was finishing up some edits on a children’s book when I read a great piece of advice. Word has a text to speech option. It took me a while to add it by finding the More Commands button and adding Speak to my customized tool bar. But something else happened with that as well. When I listened to my story, I was able to catch errors I would never have otherwise.

I loved being able to hear someone read my story out loud, like a public reading. However, when I began to work on my latest book, the protagonist is a young woman and hearing it read in a male voice grated on my writer’s nerves.

I had to try two different ways to change the sound. One was to go into Windows Settings into Time and Language then into Speech and alter the voice option from Microsoft David Mobile to Microsoft Zira Mobile. That seemed very quick and easy and should have worked.

For some reason, it didn’t. So I had to try it another way. I went into Control Panel to Ease of Access then into Speech Recognition and then to Advanced Speech Options where I was able to change the voice in the Text to Speech tab. Now that worked!

I was so tickled to be able to listen to my protagonist tell her story that it encouraged me to get back to work on my next award winning novel.  :)

Dear writing colleagues, take care and keep writing. Your story matters!
Becky Villareal has been teaching early childhood in Dallas Independent School District. For the past ten years she has been completing family research on her mother’s and father’s families. As an elementary teacher and ten year veteran of genealogy, Becky has been able to enjoy not only working with children but finding out about her family history.She also enjoys a good cup of coffee, a quiet place to write, and a warm purring cat on her lap while she types. Social Media Links: Wordpress: Goodreads: Linkedin: SCBWI: Twitter: Facebook: Google+:  Youtube: Pinterest:

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