Many people argue that writing using dictation doesn’t gain much because the first draft is so much rougher and therefore takes longer to knock into shape than if it had been typed.
My first drafts are very rough. I don’t tend to fix things as I go through, I prefer to focus on telling the story and worry about the repeated words, the perfect words, typose etc, all later.
I compared the length of time to write and edit to similar length stories, which is laid out below:
Typing 56k words
32 hours of writing + 8hrs of self edit first pass = 40hours
My first self edit focusses on typos, some repeated words, parts that don’t make sense, but no real content edit fixing.
Dictating 56k words
20.5 hours of dictating + 12.7hrs of self edit first past = 33.2hours
Quite a lot of the self edit for the dictation was to add in missing words. Dragon seems to miss quite a few words, particularly if I speak quickly. There were no typos because Dragon doesn’t make spelling mistakes, it’ll only write proper words. There were also lots of homophones to fix such as: their, they’re, there and to / too / two etc. In addition there were some phrases that made no sense at all. So I had to work out what I may have said, or make something up that made sense and write that new. This made the first self edit of dictated words feel much more boring and time consuming. It took almost half as long again as this stage for typing.
Overall, dictating is 17% faster than typing. Another by product is that it’s possible to write much more first draft words in less time, with absolutely no arm and hand strain, unlike when typing. And if you’re writing as a job, five days a week, that’s a big benefit. That led me to my aim to see if I could write a novel in a week, as part of my Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge, but I’ll come onto that in another post.
If you've missed the other parts of this blog series, they're here:
Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
Love and light,