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Prophecy Six Blog

Sharing My Unedited Writing Experiences & Life Experiences.

Month

October 2015

Halloween Poem

Dark tonight the sky will be

Where children can’t wait to collect candy

Masks and costumes

Black cats and fun

Hallow Eve’s for everyone

Dress up as a scary beast

Go to friend’s places for Hallow Eve’s feast

Drink and dance ‘til your heart desires

Halloween’s a night to be inspired.

Reviews: Natural Reader (13)

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I know I haven’t updated for a few days, but I have a good reason. I’ve been editing my book, and making the changes necessary to make it a smooth read.

When in the process of reviewing my work, I find reading my work aloud to be the best way to catch mistakes. There is also a problem with that. When you read your own work, you may skip crucial mistakes because your brain sees/ reads the word as what you meant to put in the sentence. I find this happens to be a lot when it comes to words like definitely/ defiantly, probably/ possibly and so on. These can make or break a sentence, and are important to catch.

Sticking with reviewing my work and listening to how it sounds I decided I needed a program that could read my work back to me.

That’s where Natural Reader came to my rescue.

Before I start this review, I want to say I’m not sponsored by Natural Reader and therefore they aren’t paying me anything to review their product. I just thought, as a aspiring writer to other aspiring writers, this would be a helpful product review if you’re looking for a similar solution to this problem.

So, l let’s begin.

There’s a Free Version:

Natural Reader starts out with a free version which allows you to use the text-to-speech option but limits you on the voice you can use… which in the free version is 0.

This pissed me off, since the whole reason I wanted to use this product was for the text-to-speak option. They give you sample voices, which reads you 5000 words a day on the free version. That wasn’t going to cut it for me, but from using the free version I knew that I would use the paid version without argument.

So, summing up this section is the free version is a great place to start but if you want more out of the program go for the paid version.

The Voices:

Now, the basic voices you get with Personal version ($69.00) has two voices.

The Professional version ($129.50) appears to be the most popular coming with your choice of four voices.

The version I went with – because I listen to everything in my life – was the Ultimate ($199.50). This allows you to choose six voices.

The voices range in quality and languages: UK English, US English, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Arabic – and more.

The ones I chose were of the US English and UK English variety. The voices vary in quality, and since I find listening to US English to be equivalent to the teacher from Farris Bueller’s Day Off, I usually find myself using the UK English voices – mostly Graham and Rosie.

Who doesn’t want a stuffy old British guy named Graham reading you a story?

Voices can be sped up or slowed down. I find a comfortable listening level to be -1 but some people may enjoy a faster paced read. Since I’m listening for editing, this slower pace gives me a chance to pause the reader without getting to far ahead of where I found the mistake.

There are a few pronunciation errors that are annoying in regards to using these voices (which I just discovered while doing this review can be edited in the Pronunciation Editor). Still, each voice will have their issues, but the ones I have noticed are as follows:

  • Argue – when read by UK Rosie she exaggerates the UE at the end. (She sounds super excited about it too).
  • Putting – UK Graham likes to say puting… which makes for some interesting sentences.
  • To Be – when placed together for Rosie and Graham sounds like Toby or To Bree.
  • ‘er – they all say ‘single quote ER’
  • Symbols – When using symbols like single quotes, dashes, slashes and interrobangs the voices may say them.

In my opinion having only that many pronunciation issues in 33,000 words isn’t bad. They follow the punctuation well, and inflect their voices when asking questions. They pause at commas and dashes (sometimes), and they stop for a moment at periods.

All in all the voices impress me, asides from the roboticness of them. They are easy to listen to, and I’ve found a lot of errors thanks to Graham.

Controls:

Love how simple it is to use.

They have videos on their website that shows you how to use the program, but I honestly didn’t need it.

You can use simple keyboard commands to do pretty much anything and simply pressing the SPACE BAR will start or stop the reader.

Software:

If you are worried that this will take up a lot of drive space, or slowdown your system you will be pleasantly surprised.

It really doesn’t.

My laptop is almost 8 years old and runs Natural Reader with no issues. I also have tons of space left on my hard-drive for other editing and writing programs.

This also is available for PC, Mac and your phone (IPod or Android).

Pricing:

As stated above there are all kinds of versions, each with their own differences.

The program starts with Free and goes to $199.50.

All – except the Free – versions come with helpful writing assistance like spell-check and word prediction. The program can read you back websites like this blog, or other sites that interest you. They also allow for you to import E-books!

For all these features and more, it really is worth the price they are selling this at.

Bonus Points:

Updates during the first six-months are free!

Overall Ruling:

I would give this product a 9/10 – since there are places they can improve and change to make the product better (voices mostly). Also no one is perfect.

I don’t regret purchasing this product and if you have the same problem with editing that I was having, I would suggest checking this program out.

I’ll just add – I wouldn’t be suggesting or reviewing this product if I thought it was crap… Natural Reader has changed the way I do editing, and has made me a better writer for being able to hear my mistakes.

MORE INFORMATION:

If this review has peaked your interest check-out the Natural Reader website and see for yourself through using the Free version how much easier it is to edit your work.

NATURAL READER WEBSITE

Old Word Friday: Namelings

 

This week on forgotten and old words I give you namelings.

Nameling is used when a person or persons share the same name.

For Example:

There were seven girls in my dorm named Claire. When happening across that many namelings I start calling them by their last name.

Update: Page Count and Word Count!

Good news everyone. Second review is complete. The page count is 179, but that doesn’t matter because pages can change… so word count is 74,902. WOOOHOOO!

With that done and I am now moving on to refining this project even further, I wanted to share with you something fun. 🙂 The index. Yay!

Not as exciting as the map or title page, I know. But the fact I now have an index takes me one step closer to being down this project. Well no… it doesn’t…but it’s nice to think that. XD

So, enjoy.

index

Index will be refined later on when I have fully completed the editing addition of my works but it is a start. 😛

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Dialogue Prompt: Work!

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It has been a while since I posted a dialogue prompt but this one I had to post. One of the most common sentences heard in my office. The computers are prehistoric and like to freeze for no reason. 😛

Collecting Words

I was talking with Melanie Noell Bernard earlier about words, after I posted my weekly installment of Old Word Friday – a post where I share an old/ forgotten word that should be used more often – and it got me thinking of this quote I saw the other day on Pinterest.

This quote is true, in the sense as writers were collect words.

Word collecting helps us improve our own writing and develop our unique voice. When I wasn’t picking shiny rocks off the sidewalk on the way home, I was collecting words from billboards or advertisements or books. My vocabulary grew with every word I collected and helped my passion for writing grow.

I still collect words and always will.

I collect words that sound funny, or explain something in a nifty way. Old words are my favourite, as I’m a BBC nut and Shakespeare fangirl at heart.

I started organizing my words after starting university to help me find the words I wanted easier. Some words in the list I don’t like but sound interesting or work better than other words – like moist.

Yes, I’m one of those people that don’t like the word moist.

It’s the way the word sounds. It is nasty and makes my face crinkle at even typing it onto this post. I would rather have people writing nibling more than the word moist.

At least nibling is a fun sounding word!

Moist in my mind is the middle between damp and wet. When something is damp, it isn’t wet. When something is wet, it isn’t damp. What if the moisture of the item is in the middle of those two states… well then – and only then – do I use the word moist.

Now I’ll get away from that word since I’ve likely lost have my readers with having that word in my post… and oh look I’m down to 2 followers…

All right, to counter the damage I’ve done with the-word-that-shall-not-be-typed I’ll share with you one of my favourite words.

Bludgeon. o^.^o

That’s right. A word that represents hitting someone repeatedly with an object or a heavy weapon is one of my favourite words.

Why do I like this word so much?

Well asides from being a psychopath… I like the sounds and words the word bludgeon can bring to a scene. Bludgeon sounds bloody and graphic. Being bludgeoned sounds like it causes more damage than being hit. Bludgeon has a weight to it, and that weight can define the weapon being used, or the action taking place.

Not to mention it’s fun to say.

So, yes, I’m a writer. I collect words like stamps or coins. They are fascinating and ever changing. Some are funny, others are descriptive and some you just can’t stand hearing like mo… nope not going to type it…

Before I go, I want to suggest checking out Melanie Noell Bernard‘s blog.

Melanie’s an aspiring novelist with a variety of posts showcasing her unbelievable writing (Flash Fiction Friday posts are my favourite). The girl can really describe a scene.

Click her name or Flash Fiction Friday to be transported to her site.

Toodles for now,

Classy Canuck 🙂

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Old word friday x 2 (Part 2): Mullock

The second word for this two part Old Word Friday is mullock.

It is a fun word to say and always has a way of making me smile.

Mullock is a fancy way of saying rubbish or nonsense.

For example:

“This is mullock!” Caldor shouted, throwing his notebook down.

Or…

The information that person was giving me was full of mullock.

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