This is the beginning of my fifth week with Dragon. I did not use Dragon last week, as I was on holiday. Instead, one was delayed at the airport by to the opportunity to outline in a bit more detail the ending of my current work in progress.
This means that I have had three weeks of working with Dragon so far.
I've also been experimenting with different lengths of time to write in using Dragon. Before this I was using hour-long blocks, and trying to work out my average words per hour. During the previous few weeks this ranged from 2000 to 2900 words per hour using this method.
Today, using a more detailed outline, and using blocks of 25 minutes followed by five minutes break, during which I went on the Internet et cetera, I have averaged 3488 words per minute.
Normally when I write using a keyboard, I like to write in rounds of 50 minutes. I increased this to an hour during the last few weeks of using Dragon so it would be easy to work out my words per hour. However, as writing through dictation is actually much quicker than typing, it's actually harder to maintain this for a full hour of the time. I think this is because it's harder for my brain to keep up with my mouth when generating the fiction.
The combination of having a more detailed outline, as well as working in blocks of 25 minutes, has meant that my average words per hour has significantly increased.
How detailed is the outline I'm using?
Today I wrote 11,600 words, in 200 minutes of writing. This represents notes covering four fifths of a page of A4 paper. About six lines of notes left until I have written the whole of the part outlined.
This isn't really much more detailed than I usually outline, and I find that it really helps to have the scene, in my head, before I start dictating. I have to be able to see, where the scene is happening, and from whose point of view it is from, before I start dictating. Then, once I get into the flow, I briefly glanced back at my notes to make sure I want track of what I want to seem to include.
Overall, my target for average words per hour while using Dragon is 4000. I know some others have reached 5000 words on our, and possibly I may be able to do this, but at the moment and just trying to increase by dictating regularly and improving my method.
I had a minor issue, when Dragon down, with a message that said it wasn't possible to close as a certain file was missing. It also suggested that I re-download Dragon to fix this. This has not happened again. *touches wood* However, and in anticipation of this problem returning, I have backed up my Dragon profile onto an external hard drive. This means that if I need to uninstall and reinstall the software onto this laptop, I will be able to add my existing profile to it, including all the learning and teaching it has acquired from me and my voice so far.
Dictating the punctuation, has now become, almost second nature. I'm not sure if it has affected the way I am writing dialogue, but I don't think it really has.
It has definitely been easier to experiment with using Dragon, on a project that is less important to me. It has taken away some of the anxiety, I had about whether it would change my writing voice.
I couldn't dictate any of my sensual scenes. I tried. And just no. I'm not against writing these sort of scenes, in fact I rather enjoy them now, as they're a different side to the characters and their relationship.
But I can't dictate them.
Anyway, this situation meant I had 3 sensual scenes left to write at various stages of the book. So, while away alone in a hotel room, I had a glass of wine and wrote these 3 scenes using a keyboard. My words per minute was 1658 which is about half my previous dictation words per hour, and about my usual wph for typing.