On (Proofing) Writing

David Farland (of Runelords fame) sends out Daily Writing Kicks, and one of his recent ones was a pretty big plug for a site called Grammarly. His guest’s theme for the post was on automated proofreaders, which once you get passed the Microsoft Office tragedy can be pretty nifty. However, the grammar check can only help so much, and if you happen to have a problem with your composition more than your grammar, or maybe you’re not at native fluency for the language you’re writing in, then often what you write is a far cry from what you thought you wrote.

That’s why having your work read back to you can be so gosh darned useful. If you’re writing in Microsoft Word (and a number of other Microsoft productivity apps), you can access the built-in voice reader. If you’re working with something that can save a textual PDF (not an image of the page, but the selectable text), you can use Adobe Reader’s “Read Out Loud” feature.

But sometimes you just want to save a voice clip off to listen to later. Balabolka is a pretty nifty free client for that.