Today I have finished the first draft of the story most which has been written using dictation. Checking back to my records I see I have written as follows:
- 4299 words typed – that was the essential scenes and some time writing with a friend
- 56,092 words – this was written using dictation
I have worked out the average words per hour for the two different ways of writing:
- 1228 words per hour for typing
- 2731 words per hour using dictation
Overall this means I have written a 60,000 word novel in a total time of 24 hours. Obviously I wouldn't be able to write non-stop 24 hours. More realistically I should be able to write this spread across four days.
But what about dictating the punctuation?
At first I thought this would really break my flow. But honestly, after dictating 7000 words of already written fiction, it's now second nature. When you type you still think the punctuation and so saying it out loud is honestly not an issue for me now. In some ways I actually see the punctuation when dictating in a way I didn't when typing.
Things I've noticed that increase my productivity
- Writing in blocks of 25 minutes rather than 50 minutes or an hour increased my words per hour
- Outlining with a little bit more detail, also helped up my word count while dictating
- My words per hour for dictating varied between 1983 to 3588 depending on the above factors.
- I dictate quicker in the morning than in the afternoon.
My target for dictation is 4000 words per hour. I read the other people manage to hit 5000 words per hour but I want to give myself what looks like an achievable target in the medium to short term.
But how rough is the first draft?
I glanced through the first draft were getting back into the story to dictate new words over the last month. I've noticed that Dragon doesn't dictate any spelling mistakes, unlike when I type.
There are quite a few words that sound the same, but are actually the wrong word. Examples of this include their they're and there, to and two, and there are also some words missed out.
I'm going to leave this story for a few weeks while I work on other project that are more time critical. I'll report back later about how much of a hot mess the first draft really was and if it's genuinely any worse than my usual first drafts.
In all honestly, even if it's rougher than my usual first drafts, my productivity to produce it is about twice that of typing, so it would need to be very much worse to cancel out any gains from using dictation. Not to mention dictation is less tiring than typing, doesn't give me finger or arm ache, and can be done while standing up.