The Wonders of Text-to-Speech


As a dyslexic, I often don't see my mistakes when reading back my work. Okay, I never to do, which is why Text-to-Speech software is a vital part of my writer's toolkit. I've tried many, but the best I have found is probably one you haven't heard of, from a company you most certainly have—Amazon.


Amazon has its own text-to-speech software program called Amazon Polly. And, unlike the others I've tried, Polly is better than parrot-like in its recitation and sounds a lot better than Alexa. A few voices give a remarkably human-like read, with natural-esque pauses, inflections, and cadence. While it doesn't replace the real thing for me, it's been a great writing companion. What's more, listening help with story pacing, unnecessary (or missing) dialogue tags, and action beats that reading alone doesn't achieve. The last thing, Polly is free (or virtually so).


I've been asked a few times about Polly and thought to post some samples so that you can decide for yourself. Below are two voices reading the opening chapter of my new book Sprout.


Unisex American Child


Adult British Woman