Tag Archives: dictation

Weekly writing check-in: Switching Gears

Oscar in his natural habitat

So, here I am, working on the fairytale series. About 5,000 words in, I realize that I haven’t completed all the world building. Mind you, I thought I had. But I’m running into things that I’m not quite sure about. Is it in a pseudo-Middle Ages, Grimm brothers Germany? Or is it more like Charles Perrault’s France?

See? This is something I should know. Beyond this, as I was writing, I also realized that there are other forces in this particular fantasy world that I hadn’t accounted for either.

Decision? Let it compost a bit more.

So I’m switching gears and diving back into the Coffee and Ghosts spin-off series.

I looked structure of that this week, I reread the manuscript, and used dictation this time around to take notes.

So instead of a half a page of strange cryptic notations that I don’t understand later on, I ended up with about 2000 words of excellent story notes.

Whenever I do a read-through, I always tell myself oh I’ll remember this. Thing is? I never do. With this new way, I have lots of notes to begin with. Granted, I do have to deal with things like:

Necromancer sunsets fuel the story.

But I keep the audio files until I have a chance to review the transcription. That way, if I can’t figure something out, I can listen to it.

I made a list of things that needed expansion and additional research. I swear, three books and two documentaries landed in my lap. Just like that.

I think this is the universe’s way of telling me I’m on the right track.

 

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Weekly writing check-in: reading pillows and dictation

So tomorrow is the big day. My BookBub featured deal for the first season of Coffee and Ghosts goes out the door (or through the email server) bright and early.

To say I’m nervous is an understatement. In fact, I’ve been dreaming about the featured deal. I’ve been checking obsessively to make sure that the book is still free everywhere. So far so good.

If you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, you should, you really should. Because, again, it’s free everywhere.

To follow up on my cryptic note from last week about productivity, I’ve decided to try dictation.

While I am hoping it will help me write more, I’m not sure if I’m going to use it to dictate actual stories, or if I’ll just use it to brainstorm notes, outlines, and things like that. But the main reason I’m looking into this is that I want to future-proof my writing.

Last year on Mother’s Day I woke up with my upper back, my neck, and my right arm completely seized up—and it hurt like you wouldn’t believe. I could barely move. I really couldn’t write, and I could barely do my job.

We just finished up a huge software update at work, and I was starting to head down that path again, and that’s not a place I want to go. Despite doing all of my physical therapy exercises, it’s still a little iffy at this point.

I did write this week, but not as much as I wanted to. So. Dictation. I’ve been reading up on it. I’ve been practicing. I’ve also made some classic mistakes as well, like jumping into my work-in-progress and trying to dictate that.

Pro tip: don’t do this.

New reading pillow: what’s mine is hers.

I’ve discovered I can’t look at the screen when I dictate, and a lot of the advice on dictation echoes this. Looking puts you into editing mode, and I think it’s even worse than editing while you’re drafting on the keyboard.

I think my ideal set up is going to be to walk and talk. Right now I’m just trying out a recorder app on my phone. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a system that may not work for me. On the other hand, I did dictate last week’s blog, and right now I am dictating the draft to this week’s blog.

True, I need to do a little editing, but a lot less than I expected.

And now, I’m going to go reclaim my reading pillow.

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