Intensively revising here, it reminded me of a redundant question I now and then ask myself whenever I find myself in this very process. And so, today, I decided to post it.
Whenever I edit intensively, I get to a point where the words start to mix up on the page. I read, but I sometimes don’t even read what is actually there. Or I spot awfully formulated sentences, only to discover (after swimming out of the consequent confusion - and that B* can sometimes really stick) that these sentences were actually even better than just fine. It is like dyslexia (I actually only suppose it is - I don’t have dyslexia) but at the sentences’ scale…
It ain’t the letters that are getting flipped and shifted, but rather the words.
So, the question is:
Does anyone know of a good trick that could allow to reset one’s brain without resorting to taking a break every time. (If it happens after 5 or 6 hours, taking a break is not a problem. The problem is that after that, it only takes a short time for the phenomenon to kick back in. Pretty annoying…)
A special way to read the text until fully rested the next day?
Or reading upside down?..
Or… well, I actually have no idea, don’t I. I wouldn’t ask otherwise.
You get the idea ?
Happens to me when I write. To overcome that I wait months before reading a draft by which I have forgotten what I meant to say and must now rely solely on what I did say.
I do have dyslexia and one-fingered typing pecking at the keyboard makes it worse. Touch typing with my eye gaze on the computer screen breaks that pecking feedback and I don’t skip words or make two meny spellnig misteaks.
Changing fonts helps a bit. Really changing, different typeface, size (within reasonable limits), maybe even colors. Or reading on a different medium, like paper or an e-ink display. In different positions. E.g. my brain works differently when I lie down.
I change the font in my Preferences:Editing (Options: Editing ? Don’t know Windows…) and then do a complete Documents->Convert Formatting to Default… through my entire draft. I’ll change up the size, whether it’s proportional or monospaced, etc. It helps some.
This. I started using the speech option on Scrivener and it has worked wonders to catch things I don’t do. I found its best if I print everything out and then I follow along the printed draft as I listen, marking errors.
I usually edit with both editors open, with a “scratch pad” document on the rhs. My Scriv documents are scenes (occasionally sub-scenes, if the scene is very long).
At the sentence-level, I copy the problematic sentence into the scratch pad and break it into clauses, with a blank line between each. I then work on the clauses individually, copying and pasting one of the clauses for each new attempt.
The first benefit is isolating the sentence from everything around it, which I quite often find to be a distraction. The second is isolating the clauses themselves.
Once in this state, you can start asking questions about the sentence’s purpose and whether the words you are using are the best, most precise, etc. for your needs; and indeed whether the order of clauses should be changed or split into another sentence or deleted.
The whole sentence has to work of course; but I leave that to the end, and then deploy my usual bag of tricks for fixing rhythm and other ticks.
I do the same thing with paragraphs sometimes. It often turns up sentences that would better live elsewhere.
Ah dommage! Je suis bilingue, mais depuis que je fais mes études universitaires en anglais, je n’est jamais occasion d’essayer les voix françaises… L’autre chose que j’utilise dernièrement c’est le logiciel de correction Antidote (qui a des modules français et anglais). Pas d’option pour la lecture à voix haute, malheureusement, mais ça attrape au moins les pires erreurs… mais peut-être que c’était toi que j’ai vu faire la recommandation pour Antidote sur le forum??
Anyway, I sympathize with your difficulty, I have the same issue. Reading out loud is tedious but can also work. Not always feasible however, for longer works. If I could have a dollar for every time my teachers wrote “needs better proofreading” on top of my assignments growing up, I’d be rich…
You could try pasting text into Google translate and then press the “speech” icon. The voice rendition into French is quite pleasant and euphonic. The only downside is that there is a 5000 character limit. You can do the same with many other languages. Not all have the TTS capability. And at least one that I tried (Croatian) was a robot voice but others sounded natural. And with many you can change the speed of playback by toggling it off and on.
It is already better, thanks. …but still too defective.
1- It doesn’t render ; and – properly. (Sometimes ; gives a freakishly long pause; sometimes no pause at all.)
2- (Where it definitely turns unusable) They kind of try to give natural inflexions to the voices, but those end up randomly anywhere in the sentence, making the voices sound like how would someone that was raised in the wild by squirrels read.
At this point, if I could find a lifeless, toneless, robotic voice, that would actually fit my need much better.
Something similar to what Stephen Hawking was using would probably be just perfect.