Today is halfway through the second week of me using Dragon to dictate. During this time, I have:
- dictated 7000 already existing words from my fiction and from other fiction
- corrected these using Dragon so it is learning
- started dictating new fiction
I have just finished writing, old-style using a keyboard, a long 100,000 word story. Before I got into dictating my next full-length novel, I thought I would use a novella, in a similar way to training wheels on a bicycle. I've also told myself I won't aim to publish this story, which definitely takes some of the pressure off. I'm looking at the story as a long practice project.
So over the last two weeks, I have dictated, 15,000 words on this novella. This has made it easier than if I was doing a proper large important project. Doing it for this novella has allowed me to be less worried about the dictation, and just letting myself get used to the process.
The novella, is basically taking a previously published short story of 12,000 words, and I have written the story of the two men, getting together. The previously published short story was about an established couple, while one of them overcame some issues in his life. Writing this novella has been easier than starting from scratch, because I was aware of the characters and quite familiar with them.
I may never actually publish this novella I am dictating now, and the lack of worrying about that, has meant that is easier to dictate than by dictating something I knew I would definitely be submitting. As with most things, I'm not sure what will actually do with it once it's finished, the taking of the pressure to myself, has been a great benefit while dictating in this way.
I am dictating, in the same way that I write my first draft words. That is I am writing with a brief outline, from start, to finish, and not correcting anything as I go along. I find this helps me maintain flow and stay in the story. Rather than fiddling about correcting typos and minor word choice errors.
During this time, I have written, using dictation, in six hours of writing. Each time I have recorded the number of words I've written during that hour. I also typed for two hours and have recorded my word count for those two hours as well.
So what are the numbers like?
For the two hours of typing I did on this project I averaged 1113 words per hour. For the dictating parts of the story I have averaged over six hours, 2580 words per hour. This isn't as high as I've seen other Dragon users report, with some people managing 5000 words per hour.
I'm not sure whether this is to do with the fact that I haven't got a detailed outline, or the fact that it's a story with two characters I have only written a 12,000 word short story for so far. Or maybe it's because I'm still getting used to dictating?
The learning point so far are:
- it's definitely faster than typing
- it is easier to do when I'm tired and typing
- and when I really get into it, I am acting out the dialogue and actions of the two characters using my voice and hands, in a way which is much more fun, and impossible, while typing
I plan to continue dictating the story until I get to the end and hopefully I will get more used to dictating and my word count per hour will increase.